Western United is proud to announce its club captains for the 2021/22 season.
Alessandro Diamanti will keep the captain’s armband for a third successive season and Josh Risdon will step into the vice-captain position.
Head coach John Aloisi has made the call along with his coaching staff during pre-season, and praised the leadership of both players and the role they play in the squad.
“Alessandro and Josh have been massive in pre-season, helping me settle in and supporting the staff and all the players during the off-season,” he said.
“They’ve taken on what we want to do and they’re both driving the whole group forwards. Their voice within the group has been huge and will continue to be all season.
“Dia has been the captain obviously for two years, so he was a no-brainer to keep in that position. Josh has shown everything you want from a leadership perspective on and off the training pitch, and he is fully deserving of this and will be brilliant for us in the role.”
Both Diamanti and Risdon will play an important part in driving the Club’s core values and behaviours. The Captains will lead and ensure they drive the team’s elite standards and winning culture that the Club will continue to instill at United.
“I’m extremely happy and proud to be named vice-captain,” Risdon said.
“It’s not something early on in my career I thought I would take up such a role but as I’m getting older, I feel like I can contribute to the team in a leadership role by leading by example.
“I feel like that’s my style, especially with the team we’ve got – we’ve got a really good bunch of lads and to be a leader in this group is really exciting. The club is heading towards a big future in the next few years and to be named vice-captain is very exciting. I’m extremely happy and honoured to take on this role.”
Risdon joined United in the Club’s first season, and in fact was the first Australian player to sign the club ahead of the inaugural campaign.
A 14-times capped Socceroo since making his debut in 2015, the right-back was outstanding in the 2019/20 season, but managed only three appearances last term due to a number of injury interruptions.
But with a full pre-season under his belt and with renewed energy heading into a new season, Risdon will take to the pitch as vice-captain and with big goals, something that will be spur the 29-year-old on to greater heights.
Diamanti joined the Club in its first season and was the inaugural captain, going on to win the Johnny Warren Medal and guiding the team through to a semi-final appearance in the first season.
Moving into his 21st season of professional football, Diamanti’s experience continues to be invaluable to the squad as does his persistent quality, which saw him lead the league in assists last year (9) and nominated once again for the Johnny Warren Medal.
Diamanti and Risdon are set to lead the team out in the first competitive game of the season with an FFA Cup play-off tie against Newcastle Jets on November 13 before the big A-League Men opener against Melbourne Victory the following week.
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