Premiership holders Western Sydney Wanderers have signed 25-year-old Matthew Špiranović to a one-year deal at Parramatta Stadium. The 6'4" central defender trained previously with Melbourne Victory but more recently spent two weeks with the Wanderers and decided Western Sydney was the right place to land after playing in Germany, Japan and Qatar since 2006.
Špiranović joins an experienced back line that includes center backs Michael Beauchamp, the club's captain, Iacopo La Rocca and Nikolai Topor-Stanley. A regular starter at Urawa Red Diamonds in 2011/12, Špiranović will help improve the Wanderers' depth both in the A-League but also, crucially, in the Champions League beginning in February.
Said Western Sydney's new recruit in a club press release:
"After the success the Wanderers had last year, I hope to help them achieve the same success this season and the fact that they've qualified for the AFC Champions League is added incentive. I'm looking forward to helping them win in Australia and Asia.
"I spent three years in Japan playing a a big club in the Urawa Reds. I took a lot of good memories and great experience from there and I know what to expect when playing in Asia; the conditions, the football and the players as well."
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Špiranović turned down offers in Europe to join Western Sydney. The defender spent five years at FC Nürnberg of the Bundesliga before moving to Japan in 2011.
Western Sydney just lost 3-0 to Melbourne Victory in Tasmania over the weekend. They open the regular season on Saturday October 12 at Bluetongue Stadium against Central Coast Mariners in a rematch of last season's Grand Final.