Wagga City Wanderers head into their second match of the state league season confident after a stunning opening round.
US imports Alex Millour and Chinedu Arinze shone in their state league debuts, crucial in the squad’s 5-1 win.
Their form will be on display at Gissing Oval as the Wanderers play Camden Tigers on Saturday at 3pm.
With a team comprised mainly of players graduating from the under 20’s competition, Wagga City Wanderers were on the hunt for experienced men, and found them in Millour, 24, and Arinze, 25.
Millour and Arinze played together overseas, and when Millour decided to fly out to Australia and further his career with the Wanderers, Arinze followed suit.
Soccer has taken Arinze, from Atlanta, Georgia, to Puerto Rico, Germany and now Australia.
“Really it’s an opportunity to get out and travel, and advance my career,” he said.
“A lot of people say they don’t like country settings, but I love it, Wagga’s been great to me so far. I love the people and the landscape, everyone’s been really nice.”
Arinze, a back line player, instantly impressed Wanderers coach Ben Schmid, and landed a starting position in the midfield.
Though he flew into Wagga three days before the state league kicked off he said there has been no animosity from local players who trained through a long pre-season.
Instead, Arinze has been welcomed.
“I felt appreciated,” he said.
“Everyone on the team has been great, everyone has been welcoming, if I want help on or off the field they haven’t hesitated.”
After an encouraging round one performance, he’s optimistic about the season.
“I enjoyed the win with my team mates, I enjoyed seeing us play well together and I hope to continue that,” he said.
“I want what every player wants, to play the grand final and win it.”
Wanderers welcome a third import to their ranks on Saturday, with Vasilis Spiliotopoulos arriving in Wagga on Wednesday.
Aside from Carlos Alonso, who’s away, Schmid has a full roster of players to chose from.
Their opponents, the Camden Tigers come off a thrilling 4-4 draw with UNSW.
Tigers’ young squad dazzled UNSW with sleek attack, but lacked composure when UNSW fought back.
“It’s interesting because we saw uni play (against Lake Albert in the FFA Cup a fortnight ago), and they’re quite sharp,” Schmid said.
“Tigers will be looking for their first win, our boys are looking to get their first win at home.”