Greek international Panagiotis Kone is confident the squad Western United FC have assembled is strong enough to make an immediate impact in the Hyundai A-League.
As well as established stars like Kone, Alessandro Diamanti, Andrew Durante and Ersan Gulum, coach Mark Rudan has also signed some exceptional young talent.
And there’s one youngster that has particularly impressed Kone ahead of the 2019/20 Season.
“We have lots of young players, [but] a good impression for me has been Valentino [Yuel],” Kone told a-league.com.au.
“He is improving every day of the past two months and I'm working a lot with him.”
Yuel, who was signed from Victorian NPL outfit Bentleigh Greens, scored the club’s first-ever goal in their inaugural match against Caroline Springs George Cross.
The 24-year-old attacker also found the net in wins over Preston Lions and North Geelong Warriors, while he netted the winner in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors friendly win over fellow Hyundai A-League Melbourne City.
Wenzel-Halls thriving with 'God’s' guidance
He was one of the breakout stars for Brisbane Roar last season and youngster Dylan Wenzel-Halls hopes to go to new levels in 2019/20…thanks to some divine intervention.
In his maiden season in the competition in 2018/19, 21-year-old Wenzel-Halls caught the eye with his speed and work-rate, as well as scoring five goals in 20 appearances.
ANNOUNCEMENT: Hyundai A-League Season Draw released
SIGNING NEWS: All of Brisbane Roar's Ins and Outs for the 2019/20 Season
Now enjoying a pre-season under new coach – and Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, whose nickname is God – the youngster is experiencing the kind of tutelage that is set to see him improve as a player.
"He's [Fowler] always looking to help me but it's not only me, it's looking to help everyone, he's in everyone's ear giving them little tips and feedback which I think it's really important," Wenzel-Halls told reporters in Brisbane.
"For me it's exciting to work with someone of his calibre and I think I'm quite lucky to do that and be in that position.
"But even just watching the likes of Roy (O'Donovan) and how he moves as well, for a young striker, puts me in a good position."
Simon fires treble in Mariners’ pre-season win
A hat-trick to skipper Matt Simon has seen Central Coast Mariners end their tour of Tasmania with a 4-1 win over South Hobart on Tuesday.
Simon scored the first three goals of the match at Lightwood Park, while winger Tommy Oar also got on the scoresheet for Alen Stajcic’s side.
The emphatic win comes just two days after the Mariners also prevailed 3-1 over the Football Tasmania state team.
The Mariners will now return to Gosford to prepare for next week’s FFA Cup 2019 Quarter Final against Hume City.
The match will be played at ABD Stadium on Tuesday, September 17, with kick-off at 7.30pm.
Sky Blues spread some cheer in Cairns
Rigorous training sessions and team bonding aren’t the only things on the agenda during Sydney FC’s pre-season camp in Far North Queensland.
Steve Corica’s squad took some time out from the preparations for the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season to visit some sick kids at Cairns Hospital.
And there were plenty of smiles on the faces of the youngsters, who also got their hands on the Hyundai A-League Championship trophy.
SHOW YOUR SUPPORT: Become a Sydney FC member today
MATCH CENTRE: Visit the match centre to see every Sydney FC fixture