The Western Sydney Wanderers have wasted little time in beginning the changes to their squad, releasing four players after the expiry of their contracts
|By JOHN GRECO
Beaten A-League grand finalists Western Sydney Wanderers have begun the process of trying to go one better next season after announcing four players would not be offered new deals with the club.
Croatian striker Dino Kresinger, defender Tarek Elrich and attackers Joey Gibbs and Rocky Visconte were all released by the Premiers' Plate winners on Tuesday.
The decision means coach Tony Popovic has plenty of room to strengthen his successful squad for the new season, especially in attack.
Former Central Coast striker Matt Simon is keen on a return to the A-League after a stint in Asia and is understood to be high on the club's wish-list.
Despite finishing the season in first place, the Wanderers strikers failed to score many goals, with Kresinger, Gibbs and Labinot Haliti contributing just nine from a total of 57 appearances between them.
While Simon would be a perfect addition to the formidable Wanderers outfit, he is not short of suitors.
Sportal understands both Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC are keeping tabs on the former Mariners goal-poacher, who is also in line to re-unite with his old team-mates on the Central Coast.
The Wanderers have missed out on former Brisbane defender Matt Jurman, who has reportedly returned to city rivals Sydney FC.
Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman praised the departing players for their impact in making the club's inaugural season so memorable.
"Dino, Tarek, Joey and Rocky were all part of this journey and all played an integral part in the success of the club and winning the Premiers Plate in this historic season," Gorman said.
"It's unfortunate that we are unable to retain all of the squad.
"The Wanderers door will always be open to Dino, Tarek, Rocky and Joey and no one should ever underestimate their contribution to this, our foundation season.
"We wish them well in their future football endeavours"
Kresinger made 25 appearances for the season, scoring twice including the crucial opening goal in the club's semi-final win over Brisbane Roar.
Elrich, the club's vice-captain, managed just 11 games but was part of the squad which went down to the Mariners in the grand final.