Energetic winger Lachlan Wales will remain in the West until at least the end of the 2023/24 season after putting pen to paper on a new two-year contract extension at Western United.
The 24-year-old has featured in all 12 A-League Men games so far this season and said he didn’t have to think twice about committing his future.
“It was a pretty easy decision. With John (Aloisi) coming to the Club, the culture that we’re trying to build here – you can already see what a difference it’s made on and off the pitch,” he said.
Wales praised the impact of John Aloisi coming in as head coach, saying the faith that has been shown in him has allowed him to play at his best.
“He’s been massively important to me. He’s really believed in me, starting me every match. To have someone believe in you and give you confidence to express yourself every weekend is really important,” he said.
“Coming in, [with] what he’s achieved in the game, he’s definitely someone I can learn off and play my best football with. He’s really instilling a good culture, and the main thing is belief is starting to come now.”
Aloisi is delighted to have Wales on board for the next two seasons and said there is plenty more to come from the Olyroo.
“Lachie was always going to be a big part of my plans here and I’ve been so pleased with what he’s given us as a team this season,” he said.
“Off the pitch, his character, his attitude, the camaraderie and banter with the boys is just as important as his talent, which is obviously plentiful.
“He’s still very young and has a lot of improvement left in him, and I can’t wait to see that improvement happen right here with us at Western United.”
Western United General Manager of Football Mal Impiombato explained the significance of the extensions of Wales and Steven Lustica in successive weeks.
“The ability of the club to extend the contracts of key players Wales and Lustica in successive weeks is a testament to the Club’s clear ambitions and journey,” he said.
“The Club has worked tirelessly to build the foundations for sustainable success and the extension of key players demonstrates that we are on the right trajectory. Both Wales and Lustica live and breathe the values and behaviours that are important to our Club and we are delighted to have them continue on our journey.”
Having joined Western United ahead of the 2020/21 season after stints at Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne City, Wales is beginning to feel like he has found himself a home in the West.
“Definitely, it feels like the place where I’ve been able to be myself the most. I’m starting to play some good football here with the team, enjoying the club off the field as well with the friendships made and on the field, the performances have been unreal,” he said.
Going forward into the next couple of years, Wales has one clear goal on his mind.
“I’m hoping to win as many trophies as I can here. I think we’re in a good position with the coaching staff, players, the depth of players; we should be pushing for every title in Australia,” Wales said.
“It’s a really exciting time with the stadium being built and lots of players signed for next year.”
This caps off a big past week or so for Wales, who on Sunday made his 100th appearance in the A-League Men competition against Western Sydney Wanderers.