Socceroo Risdon seeks southern exposure at new franchise
WESTERN Sydney’s rebuilding under Markus Babbel is unlikely to feature Josh Risdon.
The Socceroos fullback is believed to have agreed to a two-year deal with A-League entrants Western Melbourne.
It’s understood Risdon, 26, has held advanced talks with the consortium behind the new club and all indications are the deal will be announced imminently.
Risdon’s profile has risen dramatically over the past year after he impressed at the World Cup under Bert van Marwijk, and there had been speculation he would seek a move to Europe.
But the right-back has been courted by the new A-League club, whose name is set to be decided by a fan poll.
The departure of Risdon will come as a blow for Western Sydney as Babbel contemplates a significant overhaul of the squad in the off-season with 12 more players coming off contract.
In a further blow to the Wanderers, there are growing fears defender Patrick Ziegler will not play again this season.
The club is likely to seek a second opinion on the knee injury which has restricted his involvement this season. It comes after the struggling club recorded only its third win of the season on Saturday, seeing off last-placed Central Coast 2-0 in a scrappy affair decided by goals from Tarek Elrich and Jaushua Sotirio either side of halftime.
“Something changed in the week,” Sotirio said. “I don’t know, just got the confidence back. We definitely needed it as well.
“The coaching staff and everyone, we all harped on about how important it was, about keeping a clean sheet and scoring goals.
“We’ve been playing some good matches, we haven’t been getting the outcomes, but definitely the win helps us get momentum for the remaining games.”
The result lifted the Wanderers back into eighth place, 14 points adrift of the top six.