Western Sydney Wanderers signing Mark Bridge.
Western Sydney Wanderers signing Mark Bridge. DAN HIMBRECHTS

Wanderers bring back hometown favourite

THE Western Sydney Wanderers have gone back to the future to bolster their forward line, bringing former favourite Mark Bridge back to his hometown club.

A year after leaving to take up a lucrative offer in Thailand, Bridge has signed a two-year deal to rejoin Tony Popovic's squad and will start pre-season immediately.

The 32-year-old is likely to break the club's appearance record this season, having amassed 112 games in the Wanderers' first four seasons and winning the club's player of the year award in two of those campaigns.

His return, allied to the signing of marquee striker Oriol Riera, builds Popovic's firepower in attack, in addition to existing top scorer Brendon Santalab, who broke Bridge's scoring record for the club last season.

"I was raised in St Clair so for me to be back playing for this club, it holds a special place in my heart and hopefully I'm a part of it for a long time to come," Bridge said.

"Popa's a great leader, I think he brings the best out of his players and he definitely gets the best out of me so it was a big part of me coming back.

"As successful as this club has been in its short history, that grand final win has still eluded us so that's definitely a massive driver for me this season."

Western Sydney's season begins on August 1, with an FFA Cup tie against the Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium.

News Corp Australia

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