Western United announce key departures including three starters from Grand Final victory

Leo Lacroix, Jamie Young and Neil Kilkenny are among the players who will leave Western United at the expiration of their contracts.

Western United have announced nine players will be leaving the club at the expiration of their contracts, including starters from their 2022 Isuzu UTE A-League Championship winning side Leo Lacroix, Jamie Young and Neil Kilkenny.

The club announced the trio would be departing on Monday afternoon alongside veterans Tongo Doumbia and James Troisi, fan favourite Ryan Scott and academy graduates Adisu Bayew, Ben Collins and Ajak Deu.

Lacroix joined Western 2021 and became an integral part of the side that won the Championship that season.

The one-time Switzerland international was named in the 2021-22 PFA Team of the Season and made over 50 appearances for the club over two campaigns.

Young and Kilkenny also joined the club in the same off-season, with the former appearing in each of Western’s 56 league games since. The shot-stopper will be best remembered for his starring performances during the 2022 Finals Series, which helped Western secure a first-ever piece of silverware.

Kilkenny, on the other hand, departs after making 47 appearances for the club and helping set the foundations with his leadership on and off the field.

Doumbia and 37-time Socceroo Troisi will also depart after one season at the club, where they made 20 and 18 appearances respectively, while the former finished second behind Player of the Season Josh Risdon at their end of year awards.

Inaugural signing Scott also leaves the club after four seasons, with the goalkeeper making 21 appearances and quickly becoming a fan favourite.

Meanwhile, young attacker Bayew made 25 appearances and scored two goals. His first goal last season made him the club’s third youngest scorer.

Inaugural under-23s captain Collins – who made two league appearances – and Deu also depart, having played key roles in helping the academy team achieve promotion to NPL2 last year.

“On behalf of the Western United FC family, we wish to thank each of these players for their significant contribution. They have all played an important part in building and strengthening our young club. We hope that each player will depart the club with fond memories,” General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato said.

“We wish them every success with their next steps, and they will be forever etched into our club’s history.”

They join retiring duo Alessandro Diamanti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley among the players leaving the club at the end of the season.

After winning the Championship last campaign, John Aloisi’s side finished seventh, missing out on a finals berth by three points.