Scott McDonald ready to depart Western United for Brisbane Roar

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Western United coach Mark Rudan has confirmed that unsatisfied forward Scott McDonald wants to leave the developing club for Brisbane Roar.

Rudan confirmed after Western United’s 3-2 loss to Melbourne City last Friday that the club has been explicitly clear it was seeking players who wanted to grow with the establishing club.

“At the end of the day I want players who want to be here,” Rudan said to media after United’s loss.

“I made it very clear it’s going to be a challenging environment, one that’s going to take you out of your comfort zone, one you need to be on the edge.

“If you’re not willing to take on challenges, if you want to do whatever you want to do then it’s not the club for you.

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“He clearly wants something else. And that’s for him to decide and … in terms of us as a football club, we’re very clear on who we are and we want people that are going to buy into our club going forward,” he said.

McDonald, a 36-year-old veteran, joined Western United after previous stints around the United Kingdom.

The World Game reported the former Socceroos and Celtic striker has allegedly agreed to an 18-month-deal with Brisbane Roar after the Professional Footballers’ Association or PFA intervened to help disentangle him from his unhappy spell at United, following a disagreement with Rudan in mid-December.

Rudan has been tight-lipped about whether McDonald’s transfer has been confirmed, however, McDonald was missing from United’s line-up last Friday.

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“He played a full game last week, so I never confirmed that he was out. I just said that he’s received an 18-month contract and he’s still Western United’s football player – he’s still contracted with us,” he said.

“There’s no deal been done – that’s quite simple.”

While it seems that McDonald’s future now lies ahead at Brisbane Roar, the future is not looking too bright for Western United.

A debilitating injury crisis left Rudan with only one experienced defender Andrew Durante during the match against City, ultimately forcing his hand to change his usual three back to a four at-the-back formation, the first time he has made the change all season.

Despite coming back from a 3-0 deficit during the second half against City, it’s clear that the loss of McDonald and injured players will have a bigger toll on the squad in upcoming weeks.

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The loss of experienced defenders Aaron Calver and Brendan Hamill leaves United with little to no coverage in their backline.

Calver’s fractured metatarsal injury could set him back between four to six weeks, while Hamill’s ruptured ACL will see him miss the rest of the season.

Rudan’s lack of choices also gave Sebastian Pasquali his debut start with the club. The 20-year-old joined United after previous stints at Melbourne Victory and in Ajax’s youth ranks.

Rudan, however, is adamant that United’s youth members have the grit to cover McDonald and the players he’s lost to injury, praising the qualities of Pasquali along with Valentino Yuel, Josh Cavallo and Thiel Iradukunda, all of whom made A-League debuts on Friday night.

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United has also recently signed Oskar Dillion, a 20-year-old defender from the Queensland Premier League club Gold Coast.

While all young guns are promising and talented players, the loss of McDonald and the grave injuries they have faced in the last two weeks can only mean United will face trying and difficult times for the rest of the season.

The bye for United may have come at the right time as Rudan is back to square one finding replacements for his squad and working with his players to find new tactical set-ups for his upcoming games.

Feature Image Credit: Western United

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Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season