Tough schedule ahead for jet-setting Wanderers

Western Sydney defender Brendan Hamill admits Wanderers’ long-haul travel schedule is “tough” but refused to use it as an excuse ahead of their latest international journey.

Speaking to FourFourTwo, Hamill laughed they’d be clocking up the Qantas frequent flyer points having only returned to Sydney on Monday night after being crowned Asian champions in Saudi Arabia.

The Wanderers flew out for New Zealand ahead of Friday’s fixture with Wellington Phoenix before another long away trip to Perth Glory in round six.

It’s a schedule which will see Western Sydney travel almost 40,000 kilometres in the air during a 16-day period and Hamill acknowledged it wouldn’t be easy.

“It’s going to be tough,” former Korea-based defender Hamill told FourFourTwo.

“But we’ve got a very good pre-season behind us, we’ve worked very hard in the past few months with the strength and conditioning coaches.

“Everything has been planned down to a T, we’ll be right physically and mentally when the whistle blows on Friday against Wellington.”

Despite Hamill’s confidence, there are concerns Wanderers may experience a lull during their A-League campaign following their ACL run which saw them make six trips to East Asia, before the final in Riyadh which was preceded by a warm-up camp in the Middle East in September.

In the immediate future, Wanderers only need to look at the A-League ladder to come down from their ACL high.

Western Sydney are bottom of the ladder, with zero points and seven goals conceded from two games.

It may only be two games, but Wanderers’ A-League defensive record is in stark contrast to their continental record where they didn’t concede a goal in the two-legged semi-final or final.

“We are on a massive high and that’s going to help us a lot,” 22-year-old Hamill said.

“It’s unreal what we’ve done and we’re not going to just forget it, but we can use the experience we had in the ACL.

“It’s still a long season ahead of us.”

Hamill pointed to the Wanderers’ history of slow A-League starts as reason for optimism, having never won either of their first two fixtures of a season.

“You look at the first year of the Wanderers, they started slow and from memory it took them a while to get going last season as well,” the ex-Melbourne Heart man said.

“It’s early, it’s never a good thing to cop seven goals in two games but it’s still early days.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to amend those two results and start getting some points on the board and climbing up the ladder.”

On a personal level, Hamill said he was delighted to be part of the Wanderers “family” having joined the club in June after two years in Korea which he described as a “rough period”, but one which made him stronger.

“I wouldn’t go back in time and say ‘no, I wouldn’t go there’,” he said. “I’d go there every time, because I’ve learnt so much from that experience.”