Daniel Penha was the happiest man on earth when he scored his first goal in a Western United jersey on Monday.
The Brazilian star has arrived at Western United and settled immediately into the side, making his competitive debut against Sydney FC in the Australia Cup and catching the eye in his brief cameo.
But Penha went one better in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Western Sydney Wanderers, scoring early in the second half as United won the clash 2-1.
After being played clean through by Noah Botic, Penha had much of the attacking half to run into and following a lovely dummy shot, the Brazilian blasted a brilliant finish into the back of the net.
Leaping into the air and releasing a wave of emotion, Penha celebrated in style and said after the game that it was a special feeling after the adversity of injury over the last 12 months.
“I can’t tell you. I am so, so, so happy,” he said.
“After I scored, I cried a little bit because the mind can remember the hard times in the last year. I am so happy, I’m looking forward to this season.
“After one year, I’ve come back again and I can play again in the first 11. I’m so happy to score, to help the team. I think this is a good game for the start of the season. I’m so happy to be back again.”
After the Club reached the quarter-finals in the Australia Cup for the first time, United is continuing to get up to speed ahead of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men opener in just over two weeks.
Penha is buoyant about how the side is shaping up, with the Green and Black aiming to return to the finals after missing out last season.
“Our team is so good, we have good staff, everyone is together working like family, so I am looking forward to the season,” he said.
“Everyone is working so much. Everyone, the staff, the players, everyone is working together. This is good for the team, so looking forward to the season.”
For that return to the finals to happen, Penha admitted the players will need the backing of the Western United faithful throughout the season.
With Club memberships going on sale for the new season, Penha called on everyone in the West to get behind the team again and sign up for 2023/24.
“Your support is so important for us, because when we have everyone together in the game with the membership, this is good for the team,” he said.
“This is good for everyone. So come support, come with membership, this is important for us.”
Here we go, the Isuzu UTE A-League is back on Saturday 21 October and Western United is set for its biggest season yet.
Become a member today and get behind the Green and Black for another historic campaign.