Star defender departs Wanderers to pursue overseas opportunities

Western Sydney Wanderers have announced the departure of defender Tomislav Mrcela, who is set to pursue opportunities overseas.

The 32-year-old joined the in February 2022 as an injury-replacement player and made 12 appearances in his first season at the club – before becoming an integral part of their surge up the standings last campaign after re-signing on a permanent deal.

Mrcela forged a brilliant centre-back partnership with Marcelo en route to a fourth-placed finish, making 26 appearances and scoring one goal.

He had previously spent time in the A-Leagues with Perth Glory between 2018-20, after stints overseas in Europe and South Korea. Prior to joining the Wanderers, Mrcela plied his trade in for Indian side East Bengal for a season.

INS AND OUTS: Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24 Transfer Centre

Mrcela is the latest player to depart Western Sydney this off-season, joining key squad players on the way out including Calem Nieuwenhof (Hearts), Morgan Schneiderlin (end of loan), Amor Layouni (end of loan) and Kusini Yengi (Portsmouth) as some of the players to exit at the end of last campaign.

The Wanderers have been busy on the arrivals front, bringing in the likes of  Lachlan Brook (Brentford)Dylan Pierias (Western United)Jack Clisby (Perth Glory)Marcus Antonsson (Al-Adalah) and Josh Brillante (Melbourne Victory) – but will now be on the hunt for reinforcements at centre-back.

Marko Rudan’s side open their 2023-24 campaign on August 9, when they face Floreat Athena in the Round of 32 of the Australia Cup.