Around the grounds: Macarthur add Spanish flair as fan favourite returns to Mariners

A-League newcomers Macarthur FC have signed experienced La Liga midfielder Benat Etxebarria for the club’s inaugural season.

The 33-year-old, who played four times for the Spanish national team, is the third international player to link with the Bulls.

Etxebarria, who has spent the last seven seasons at has amassed 251 appearances in La Liga, as well as Europa and Champions League. 

“Having played on some of football's greatest stages including the Champions and Europa Leagues against some of the biggest names in the world, a player of his calibre does not become available too often,” Macarthur boss Ante Milicic said on the club’s website

“He brings a wealth of experience from the top leagues in Spain and will be extremely beneficial for the younger players in the squad to learn off.”  

“I’m looking forward to seeing him join our group.”

READ: All the signings ahead of the 2020/21 A-League season

Mariners getting Ziggy with it

In a huge boost for Central Coast Mariners, tough-tackling defender Ziggy Gordon has agreed to a new deal with the Gosford club.

Gordon joined the Mariners for the 2019/20 Season and was among the club’s most consistent players in his 26 appearances.

Having fallen in love with the club and the Central Coast region, the 27-year-old has taken the option to extend his time in the A-League for another season.

“I have really enjoyed the community engagement, and I feel indebted to the fans for all the support they’ve given me from the get-go since I arrived here,” Gordon said on the Mariners website.

“I have never felt so welcome at a club, and that feeling is something I hope to pay back as long as I am here.”

“We’ve been able to keep core members of the squad together and we can build on that, we’ve got a better camaraderie that we’ve built and after what we have all been through in recent months I’m positive that we can build on the positives we created at the end of last season.”

TRANSFER WRAP: Reds sign former FC Schalke defender, Muratovic departs Roar for Phoenix

Robinson opens with a win

Western Sydney Wanderers have opened their pre-season campaign with a 2-0 win over Blacktown Spartans in new coach Carl Robinson’s first match at the helm.

Goals from Daniel Georgievski and Jarrod Carluccio sealed the comfortable win for the Red and Black, who fielded a youthful side.

Defenders Dylan McGowan and Daniel Georgievski were the two senior players in the side, with the latter getting on the scoresheet.

Georgievski opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Ali Auglah was brought down in the box.

Youngster Jarrod Carluccio added a second goal before the break as the Wanderers cruised to a solid win just six weeks out from the start of the new season.

MORE: Cox, Dorrans ready to reignite on-field partnership at Wanderers

Wanderers boss Carl Robinson gives instructions during his side's win over Blacktown