Western United have signed experienced Australia international Scott McDonald as they gather steam ahead of their first season in the Hyundai A-League.
McDonald becomes the second international capture this week for the Victorian club, following the announcement on Tuesday of the arrival of Turkey defender Ersan Gulum, and the 13th player overall to sign on the dotted line for United.
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McDonald, 35, started his career with Gippsland Falcons – formerly Morwell Falcons – under the watch of long-time Glasgow Rangers defender Stuart Munro.
At 16, he moved to English Premier League club Southampton and had spells with Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth and Wimbledon before a return of 42 goals in 108 games for Motherwell earned him a move to Scottish Premier League giants Celtic.
The Melbourne-born forward enjoyed tremendous success at Parkhead, winning the league title in 2007/08 and playing UEFA Champions League football against the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan.
McDonald also picked up 26 caps for Australia, and he will join forces at Western United with Gulum and another key signing with top-level European experience, Greece international and former Serie A striker, Panagiotis Kone.
“In the last few years my mind has always been about returning home," McDonald said. "I flirted with a few offers from Hyundai A-League clubs and came close in the past, but the circumstances were not right.
“The opportunity to come home to Melbourne and be part of a new club was just the right thing to do. It’s very much about the right place and the right time for myself and my young family.
I will be 36 by the time the new season kicks off, but I am strong and determined to give back to the fans. I want to score goals and I know I will.”
WUFC assistant coach John Anastasiadis explained that McDonald’s experience will be key to the club’s success.
“We are very fortunate to secure such a great striker for next year. I played as a striker overseas, so I appreciate what Scott has done over his 20-year career,” he said.
“Scott’s experience in the dressing room will be priceless and the young boys we have should be absorbing as much as they can.
"We now have a good blend of experience with Scott as well as raw talent in the likes of Apostolos Stamatelopoulous.”
Western United will join the Hyundai A-League from the start of the 2019/20 season beginning in October this year.
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