Strike ace tops Wanderers' wish list

A proven striker is at the top of Western Sydney Wanderers’ wish list as coach Tony Popovic continues to rebuild his squad after a disappointing 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season.

It’s been a busy off-season for the Wanderers with the additions of Mitch Nichols, Scott Jamieson, Scott Neville, Andrew Redmayne, Jacob Pepper and Andreu Mayoral ahead of the new campaign.

But with strikers Tomi Juric and Kerem Bulut released by the club, a proven goal-scorer is the one position they still need to fill.

“There’s only a few spots left for us to fill and we make no secret that our priority is getting a top-quality No.9 to the club,” Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“That’s now our main focus in recruitment. But we’re not panicking and we think there’s still plenty of time.

“We’ll make the right call when the time comes. The key for us is to get it right.

“We’ve been fairly judicious in our processes since the end of the season and we haven’t rushed into anything.

“There’s a period coming up where we think more options might materialise.’’

The Wanderers finished a disappointing ninth in 2014/15 and will be eyeing a return to the finals after back-to-back grand final appearances in their first two seasons.

And a top-quality striker is seen as the last piece of that puzzle to make them contenders again.

While the club is in the market for a marquee signing, Tsatsimas says a big name isn’t necessarily a priority.

“Any club is looking for a topline striker but it’s no different from the formula we used in the first year and that is what is best for the team, our make-up and who can deliver,” he said.

“We won’t be going for names for the sake of names. We’ll be going with someone who is able to contribute to the team and help us grow as a club.”

Asked about new Spanish signing Andreu, Tsatsimas said:  ‘‘We have a number of contacts that we trust and we examined this one pretty closely over a number of months.

“He has a significant pedigree, great experience and he’s one we believe will potentially help us change the way we play and our strategy.

“He’s a very technical player, we’re hoping he’s able to have a great impact and that he settles in straight away.”