Wales commits to consistency in career restart

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Western United new recruit Lachlan Wales is putting his faith in a new coach and new club to get his A-League career back on track.

A highly talented youngster, 23-year-old Wales’ career stalled last season after an off-field problem while playing for the Olyroos, and was further troubled by playing out of position at Melbourne City for much of the season.

“Last year was a bit of a forget year for me” said Wales.

“[Now is a] a good chance to restart here and get back to enjoying my football and being a consistent talent”.

Wales fielded multiple offers from clubs during the off-season, yet Western’s “very impressive” performance in the semi-finals against Melbourne City all but sealed the deal.

“It was a good option for me with a different formation. I’d never really played out and out striker, and I had to do that at City. It was very difficult for me having to play out of position a fair bit.”

Wales was also attracted to the philosophies of Western manager Mark Rudan, well known in A-League circles for getting consistency from of his players.

“I was very attracted to go to Western United straight away, with Rudan and some of the work he’s done with young players.

I can be a very talented player on my day it’s just about getting that consistency and end product and I feel like he can do that.”

Rudan has already begun work with Wales, who is appreciating the different insights to how the game can be played.

“He’s already done a few things with me with my mentality and confidence. Little things that have been different to what I’ve been taught in the past, and it’s been working well so far in the pre-season games.”

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While there’s no doubting his incredible talent, Wales would be the first to say his three goals in 64 A-league appearances isn’t representative of the player he wants to be.

Wales started and played the full 90 minutes in his Western debut on Monday night against Adelaide United. He’s hopeful of making regular appearances throughout this season, unlike last gone.

“When you’re playing a lot of games and you can find some rhythm with team-mates it becomes a lot easier. If I can find myself in the team early, I’ve got the skill and talent to do the right thing in those positions.”

And although the pressure on Wales has perhaps never been higher, you wouldn’t know it around the club.

“It’s a bit more of a relaxed vibe than City, and you can be yourself a bit more around the club, which is something I really appreciate.”

If Wales can make good on his talent this year at Western under Rudan’s teachings, he will form a potent final third for the club alongside the likes of Alessandro Diamanti and Besart Berisha.

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Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.