Fit Wanderers power up for Roar decider

No injuries at all and a squad that’s powering through games at the business end of the season? Little wonder two of Wanderers’ key men are feeling upbeat ahead of tonight’s do-or-die Elimination Final in Brisbane.

At the end of a 27-game Hyundai A-League season with Asian Champions League commitments thrown in, players often become fatigued, niggly injuries occur and playing stocks are depleted.

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Instead, Western Sydney go into Friday night’s Finals Series clash with Brisbane with a fully fit 23-man roster.

Forward: Brendon Santalab (WSW)

And two of the club’s most influential players have no doubt where the secret lies.


“For everyone to be in the shape that we’re in at this time of the year with no injuries is phenomenal,”  newly-crowned Wanderers player of the season Brendon Santalab told

“That within itself tells you where we’re at as a group and how happy the staff will be at this point to have that statistic, because not many other clubs will have that,” he said.


And much of the credit for that needs to go to the Wanderers’ support staff, according to towering defender Robbie Cornthwaite.

“I just think it’s attention to detail,” he said.

“Every detail matters.

“The physios and the fitness staff we’ve got at this club and the amount of work that goes into the GPS data and ice baths and prehab – it all adds up.

Defender Robbie Cornthwaite says the Wanderers are super fit heading into the Hyundai A-League Finals Series.

“At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding.

“In the majority of our games we’ve finished stronger than our opposition.

“A lot of other clubs are struggling with injures and fatigue and I think we’re just getting stronger,” he said.

Having good support staff is one thing, but personal discipline is also important, according to Santalab.

“To be as fit as we are, each individual has to take responsibility and discipline because when you go home, nobody has control over what you do.

“Again, that’s a credit to my team-mates for how seriously we take our job.”

Tony Popovic insists the Wanderers' focus is on Brisbane Roar and not a potential match up with rivals Sydney FC.

And Cornthwaite said every player is buying into the ingredients needed for success.

“It’s probably been the strictest I’ve been on my diet this year,” he said.

“In the last three months, I’ve probably been playing some of the best football I’ve played.

“All these things do matter.

“If you’re doing them and someone else isn’t doing them, they give you an advantage,” he added.

“That’s also something that’s been instilled by Popa from day one at this club – the professionalism and the discipline,” ​added Santalab.

“That just flows right through our club now.

“Every player that joins the Wanderers finds out very quickly that’s how it is.

“If you want to be successful, you need to jump on board.

“Otherwise you’ll fall behind and you won’t play,” he said.

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