Western Sydney Wanderers winger Youssouf Hersi has agreed to extend his stay with the club for another season, it was announced today.
Hersi, 30, said he was enjoying his football playing for the Wanderers and his decision to commit for the 2013/14 season was an easy one.
“I am very happy to be in Australia and to be a part of this Club,” Hersi said. “I enjoy every minute here and that is one of the main reasons I want to stay.
“The crowd and the supporters at Parramatta Stadium are fantastic.
“They enjoy watching us play so much it just makes me so happy. When I see how much they want us to win I just keep pushing and keep running cause I can’t let them down. I don’t want to lose one game.”
Hersi said he was particularly grateful to coach Tony Popovic and his assistant Ante Milicic.
“The coaches have helped me a lot after my injury (knee reconstruction),” he said. “They have helped me and supported me and Tony and Ante have been great to me and they had faith in me.”
Hersi said he wanted to help the team achieve as much as possible.
“I want to win something with the Wanderers if not this year then next year and beyond,” Hersi said. “It is hard for us coming together from different places but we are good now and things are working very well.”
The Ethiopian-born Dutch national has scored four goals so far this season and has tallied the second highest number of goal assists in the league with seven.
Popovic said Hersi was a real character and he had fitted in well to the Wanderers’ Club dynamic.
Popovic said he and Milicic identified the potential in Hersi when he trialed with the Club after things had not worked out for him in Europe.
“Ante and I saw there were qualities in him,” Popovic said.
“We knew it would take him time to adjust but with his tremendous work rate he has progressed very well into an integral part of our squad.
“I think he is really enjoying his football and we are enjoying having him here.”
Executive chairman Lyall Gorman said Hersi was fast becoming the fan’s favourite on and off the park.
“His attacking flair and work rate has been a tremendous hit with his team mates and fans; and off the field his jovial personality endears him to all,” Gorman said.
“The Hyundai A-League needs characters and there is no doubt that Hersi is an outstanding and unique personality for the game at all levels.
“Not a week goes by where we do not get correspondence from our members saying how much they love the free spirited and entertaining way he plays the game and the way that nothing is too small for him when mixing with fans off the field.
“He is an integral part of our team and his extending his contract with the club continues to provide the stability and certainty for our playing squad, coaching staff, commercial partners, members and fans.”