The 2021/22 season has started well for Western United, with four wins through the first six games seeing the Green and Black in third place on the Isuzu UTE A-League table.
A number of new signings have come in and made an immediate impact, while the original cast has also stepped up to contribute to the Club’s best ever start to a season.
But heading into 2022, there is still a lot more to come from John Aloisi’s side and a number of players are poised to put their stamp on the rest of the A-League Men season.
It was a breakout 2021 for Adisu Bayew, with a starring role in Western United’s NPL team rewarded in the shape of four A-League Men appearances towards the end of last season.
Bayew followed that up with a first-ever call up to the Olyroos squad in October, and he has already made three appearances in the league this season, with an additional start in the FFA Cup.
Aloisi has shown his faith in Bayew by bringing him off the bench in important moments, and the 20-year-old has impressed so far with the potential for more minutes throughout the rest of the season.
Bayew is one of a number of representatives of the successful inaugural NPL season for Western United, and his continued growth will only bring more first-team opportunities in 2022.
Western United’s youngest player at just 17 years of age, Rhys Bozinovski has a big future ahead of him in Green and Black.
A string of outstanding performances at NPL level in 2021 earned him a first scholarship contract, but injury in pre-season has unfortunately left him unable to make his professional debut this season.
But with plenty of matches ahead in 2022, Bozinovski will be eager to make that maiden appearance and become the Club’s youngest-ever player in the process.
A diminutive but fierce midfielder that excels at creating chances for his teammates, Bozinovski will be one to watch at Western United in 2022.
Luke Duzel has gone from strength to strength across Western United’s first two seasons, and he will be hoping to take another step forward in season three.
After making three appearances in the 2019/20 campaign, Duzel played 13 times last season and joined Bayew and Noah Botic in the Olyroos camp.
Unfortunately for him, he returned from that trip with a minor injury and has been unable to take to the pitch in the A-League Men so far, but a strong performance against Wellington Phoenix in the FFA Cup proved his potential once again.
As competition in Western United’s midfield continues to grow, Duzel could be one that Aloisi calls upon throughout the campaign, and a big 2022 could be coming up for the 19-year-old.
After making his debut in Round One of last season, Nicolas Milanovic went on to make 10 appearances as a teenager in his first A-League Men season.
Now 20 years old, Milanovic signed a two-year contract extension at Western United last May and has already added two matches to his personal A-League Men tally, as well as a start in the FFA Cup.
With great size, intelligence and an outstanding left foot, he shone in NPL 3 last season with six goals in 10 games.
His knack for scoring goals will certainly come in handy for Aloisi throughout the season, and Milanovic himself will look to extend on his positive debut season last time out.