Steven Lustica has hit the ground running with Western United this season.
Lustica is the only outfielder at the Club to start all 10 matches of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men campaign so far and has contributed with two goals and an assist from midfield, already eclipsing his output from previous seasons.
“I’m feeling good, my body is feeling good. Last year I had some injuries I had to deal with, but I had a good off-season that allowed me to get my body right,” Lustica said.
“I’m pleased so far with the way the season’s gone but there’s a long way to go still and we’re trying to improve each game.
“We’re working very hard, we know our role and end goal, and the environment allows us to enjoy it. John (Aloisi) gives us a lot of confidence to play, instils in us a mentality that we’re hard to beat, but we also have quality up front.”
As well as his own game, Lustica is relishing the opportunity to be part of a midfield contingent at Western United that is filled with quality players of different levels of experience.
Alessandro Diamanti and Neil Kilkenny have led things in the middle of the pitch alongside himself, but a number of young stars are making their presence felt and continuing to push the competition on the training pitch each week.
“We have a great mix of experienced players, middle-age players and younger players; there is that mix in the playing group,” he said.
“A lot of young boys got their opportunity against Macarthur and did very well. The Club has always had good young players coming through, and the young boys are training hard and they’ll take their opportunities.
“The experienced boys are there to help as well. I was once a young player and it’s never easy, we’re there for the younger boys if they ever need us – even just by our actions, I’m sure they look up to the older boys, too.”
Steven Lustica welcoming the support from Western United fans
Lustica’s performances so far this season have drawn widespread praise from the Western United faithful, as have the performances of the entire team as it sits on top of the table as the season approaches its halfway point.
The 30-year-old says he and his teammates feel and appreciate the support from fans both in the stands and on social media, admitting it gives everyone that little extra boost.
“It’s always good to know the fans are behind us. There’s definitely a lot of positivity around the club at the moment, around the playing group – it’s very enjoyable,” he said.
“With the fans behind us, hopefully in the next home games they come and show their support for us.”
Western United hit the road for an extended amount of time for the first time this season, with a week-long stay in Sydney ending with some important points on the board as the Green and Black drew with Macarthur FC and defeated Western Sydney Wanderers.
Lustica said it was good to get away with the group and add to the wins column, but attention is immediately turning to a top of the table clash back across the border against Sydney FC on Saturday.
“They’re a top side, they’ve proven that over the last five years they’ve been at the top of the league. It’s always going to be hard but we’re confident at the moment, we’ll have a good week of training, recover from the last few games and be ready,” he said.
Upcoming Match Details
Sydney FC vs Western United
Saturday, February 12
Nestrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+