Kerem Bulut is among the players who were released
Hyundai A-League side Western Sydney Wanderers have confirmed ten of their 23-man squad will be released in the off-season, with two others remaining in contract limbo.
Iacopo La Rocca, Ante Covic, Jason Trifirio, Tomi Juric, Antony Golec, Nikita Rukavytsya, Kerem Bulut, Nick Ward, Nick Kalmar and Adrian Madaschi will not be receiving new contracts, while Japanese pair Yohiro Takahagi and Yusuke Tanaka – who were contracted until the AFC Champions League Round of 16 – are yet to have their futures confirmed.
The announcement comes after the club’s mutual termination of Yianni Perkatis’s contract earlier this week and the extension of head coach Tony Popovic’s contract for three more years.
The 2014 AFC Champions League winners were founded just three years ago and will now look to rebuild their squad ahead of the 2015/16 season.
“The departing players have served this club well and we wish them all the very best in the next chapter of their professional lives,” said Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas in an official statement.
“The players that helped us to win our AFC Champions League crown will forever be synonymous with this club and embedded in our history.
“In particular I would like to thank our foundation players Iacopo La Rocca, Ante Covic and Jason Trifiro for their contribution to the Wanderers from our inaugural season. These players have served this club with distinction on and off the field – their contribution to the region, to the making of this Club and to our on-field results cannot be diminished.”
39-year-old Covic earned the AFC Champions League’s Most Valuable Player award last year after his crucial saves between the sticks throughout the Wanderers’ run to the title kept numerous clean sheets for the club.
Tomi Juric has been subject to numerous rumours of transfers to overseas clubs, as the Asian Cup-winning Socceroos striker turned down a lucrative offer earlier this year with Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua, the new home to national teammate Tim Cahill.
“It is definitely a place I’ll keep close to my heart and I’d like to thank everyone for their time and support over the years and hopefully it is not the last time I will be in the Red & Black [colours of Western Sydney],” Juric said in the club’s statement.
The Wanderers had a torrid season marred by a congested schedule, in which they were knocked out in their first FFA Cup match, finished their A-League season in ninth place and failed to get out of their AFC Champions League group.