Perth Glorys chances of a second A-League title have taken a huge hit with captain and star midfielder Diego Castro pulling out the squad travelling to Sydney for the last six games of the rebooted season.
A club statement said Castro had cited health reasons relating to COVID-19.
The Glory skipper informed the club that he viewed his participation to be an unacceptable health risk for him and/or his family, the statement said.
Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said the club respected Castros decision.
It is very unfortunate that Diego will not be available for the remainder of the season but we understand this personal decision that he has come to after careful consideration, Pignata said.
Glory Football Director Jacob Burns echoed Pignatas thoughts.
Obviously were very disappointed to have lost a player and leader of Diegos quality, he said.
Diego Castro of the Glory reacts after missing a shot on goal. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images
But his absence will create an opportunity for other members of what is a strong, versatile squad united in its aim to build upon last seasons historic success.
Glory, in fifth spot with six games remaining, leave for their Sydney hub on Friday ahead of their opening game against Central Coast Mariners the following day.
They have already been rocked by the loss of defenders Swiss international Gregory Wuthrich and Korean Kim Soo-Beom who both returned home during the crisis shutdown and have not returned.
Adding further to their woes, veteran back Dino Djulbic is on the long-term injury list.
Western United have parted ways with marquee and inaugural A-League signing Panagiotis Kone.
The midfielder signed a two-year contract when he joined the A-League newcomers last year but will now return home to Greece in the coming days.
A former Greece international, Kone made 15 appearances for United in the clubs first season, scoring two goals.
I want to thank Western United for giving me the opportunity to be part of this club, he said.
I wish the best of luck to all the players, staff and members.
The A-League season resumes this Friday but United will not feature in the opening weekend as the three Melbourne clubs are working through their 14-day quarantine.
A Rising Star is born: Serong almost perfect, gun Sun Anderson runner-up – AFL
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IT IS the wake-up call that Caleb Serong will remember forever.
On Wednesday morning at 8.30am the Fremantle youngster received a call from coach Justin Longmuir telling him he was this year’s winner of the NAB AFL Rising Star.
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By John Morgan |
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