Big-game players a potential advantage for Western United

Western United Head Coach Mark Rudan believes that his side’s experience can give them an advantage heading into Sunday’s A-League Elimination Final against Brisbane Roar.

Experienced players such as Alessandro Diamanti, Besart Berisha and Andrew Durante have all played in big games before, both domestically and overseas.

Diamanti has played 17 times for the Italian national team, most notably scoring the winning penalty in the UEFA Euro 2012 quarter-finals, while Berisha and Durante have featured in the A-League finals multiple times each.

“We’ve got big game players; we’ve got experienced players who have been there and done that,” Rudan told reporters during Friday’s press conference.

“You can’t put a price on that as far as I’m concerned.

“Bes [Berisha] has been there, Dura [Durante] has been there.

“To have those players communicating with the players around them… you just can’t buy that.”

Berisha
Besart Berisha will take on his former side Brisbane Roar this Sunday in an elimination final.

Rudan did express the importance of the whole squad however, stating that more players than the first 11 will be required if United are to become champions.

Eight players aged 21 or under have featured in the club’s recent matches against Sydney FC and Melbourne City.

“Over the last two games you’ve seen some players get minutes and they’ve shown what they can do,” Rudan said.

“How important is that? Hugely important. If we were to go all the way, we are going to rely on those players.

“We could play three games that all go to extra time.

“It’s going to be impossible to rely on the starting 11 the whole way through.”

Western United will face Brisbane Roar in an elimination final this Sunday, August 23 at Bankwest Stadium. Kick-off is at 6:00pm AEST.