Rukavytsya returns to A-League Men with Western United

Former Socceroos attacker Nikita Rukavytsya is returning to the A-League Men, adding extra firepower to Western United’s attack.

The dashing former Perth Glory and Western Sydney forward, who has 23 international caps, replaces striker Aleksandar Prijovic, who has departed by mutual consent.

Rukavytsya, 36, has come back to Australia for the upcoming season after playing in Israel for the past eight years, mainly at Maccabi Haifa, and is set to form a potent combination with young gun Noah Botic.

He has also previously played in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

“Nikita is a fantastic signing for us. He has shown his ability to score and assist at a high rate across the world and we look forward to him bringing his talent into our team,” coach John Aloisi said.

“His experience in big leagues and competitions across the world will be important for us and we are equally buoyant about the impact he will be able to have on our young core of players.

“With pace and quality up front, a great work ethic and fantastic leadership, we are confident Nikita will excite our fans this season and help us achieve our goals.”

Rukavytsya, who made two appearances at the 2010 World Cup, last played for the Socceroos in November 2021. 

Prijovic, 33, scored 18 goals in 43 games and won the Joe Marston Medal as player of the match in United’s 2021-22 grand final win, but had been linked to a move away from the ALM since last year.