Lachie Wales is set to play his 150th Isuzu UTE A-League Men match when Western United takes on Wellington Phoenix on Saturday evening.
The 26-year-old is named in John Aloisi’s extended squad for the contest and will reach the milestone with an appearance at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
Now in his fourth season at the Club, Wales will have played the majority of his 150 games at Western United and will be looking to cap off the milestone with a winning performance.
The No.8 scored last week against Adelaide United to increase his tally to two in the first five games. Playing in a more central role, Wales is well on the way to eclipsing his career-best goal scoring figures and will be eager to continue that run against the Phoenix.
Alongside him in the final third there is intense competition for places with Aloisi again tasked with choosing between a number of players for starting positions.
Noah Botic will be eying a return to the starting line-up after coming off the bench last weekend on the back of his Olyroos commitments in the Middle East.
The youngster was sharp when he came on and will hoping to carry on his own goal-scoring form after his brace on international duty last week.
Nikita Rukavytsya made his first Western United start in Botic’s place last week and will be competing to ensure he keeps his place, as will winger Ramy Najjarine who impressed on the left-hand side.
He will be challenged by Riku Danzaki who had an impact off the bench last time out, while the likes of Sebastian Pasquali, Matthew Grimaldi and Kane Vidmar all remain in the mix.
Former Wellington man Jacob Tratt made his return from injury last week and will be out to continue increasing his fitness and match sharpness at centre-back.
James Donachie remains United’s only absentee, but Aloisi told the media ahead of Round 6 that the centre-back had returned to training with the team.
Drawing ever closer to being able to make his Western United debut, Donachie will be a big boost to Aloisi and his team when he becomes available for selection again.
Full Western United extended squad
Western United squad: 1. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Ramy NAJJARINE, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Daniel PENHA, 13. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 22. Kane VIDMAR, 24. Connor O’TOOLE, 27. Jacob TRATT, 32. Angus THURGATE, 33. Matt SUTTON (gk), 38. Noah BOTIC, 39. Matthew GRIMALDI, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI, 77. Riku DANZAKI
Ins: 9. Michael Ruhs, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI
Unavailable: 4. James DONACHIE (injured)
Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 6
Western United vs Wellington Phoenix
Saturday, 2 December
Kick-off: 5:30pm AEDT
Mars Stadium, Ballarat
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+