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Western United names three debutants for FFA Cup clash

Christian Theoharous Ben Collins Western United

Western United has named three debutants in the starting XI for the FFA Cup Round of 32 encounter with Wellington Phoenix, with a host of potential debutants waiting for a chance off the bench.

After signing a scholarship deal on the eve of the 2021/22 season, Ben Collins makes his first competitive senior appearance after impressing as the Club’s inaugural NPL captain.

Collins will take up a position at centre-half alongside FFA Cup team captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley who, despite coming off the bench in the Round 2 win over Perth Glory, makes his starting debut in Green and Black.

Speaking in the lead up to his maiden appearance, Collins expressed his pride and excitement to step out in a senior match for the first time.

“I am very excited to make my debut for the Club in the FFA Cup, and I’m looking forward to the game in Geelong. I’d like to thank the coaches for the opportunity and I know myself and the boys will put in a good performance to get the result,” he said.

“Playing in this game motivates me further to work towards an A-League debut and it proves to me that I’m able to compete at this level. I’m extremely happy to be representing Western Untied and I look forward to the support we will receive from our fans.”

Daniel Di Francesco has been involved throughout the pre-season and impressed the coaching staff at right-back.

He has also earned himself a senior Western United debut in what is a predominantly young defensive line that will be enforced by the leadership of Topor-Stanley and Ryan Scott in goal.

Western United academy continues to show promise

Further forward there is also a debut for Christian Theoharous on the left wing, marking his return to Australian football after three seasons with Borussia Monchengladbach II.

Theoharous broke through at Melbourne Victory as an 18-year-old, playing a part in the side that won the A-League Men Championship in 2018, and he is eager to pull on the Green and Black.

“I’m super excited to represent this club. We have a great mix of lads, youth and experienced, and we are looking to continue our strong start to the season,” he said.

Fans can watch the game tonight on 10Play.