Midfielder Ono joins Western Sydney Wanderers


Former Japan international Shinji Ono has signed with Western Sydney Wanderers, the Australian club said on its official website on Friday.

The 33-year-old Shimizu S-Pulse midfielder will arrive in Australia on Monday and could be ready for the Wanderers’ first ever game in the A-League against Central Coast Mariners at Parramatta Stadium, the club said.

Ono played for Urawa Reds (1998-2001 and 2006-2007), Dutch club Feyenoord (2001-2005) and Bochum of Germany (2007-2010) before moving to S-Pulse.

Ono has been capped 56 times by his country, including playing at the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups. He has made 14 league appearances for S-Pulse this season but playing opportunities have been recently decreasing.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said he was delighted to have someone of Shinji’s talent and experience joining the Wanderers.

“We have been in talks with Shinji and his management for a long time now, we have gone through the process and believe he will add a large amount to our squad across all areas,” Popovic said.

“He is an experienced player at all levels and has played on some of the biggest stages in the world, his professionalism at the top level will be good for all to see.”

Executive chairman Lyall Gorman said the signing of such a top-class player would be warmly welcomed by the Wanderers Members.

“The signing of Shinji Ono will bring plenty of quality to our team and plenty of excitement to Parramatta Stadium,” said Gorman. “This complements our policy of developing Western Sydney products. Shinji’s class and professionalism will rub off on all the young players we have.”

“The added benefit is the international profile Shinji will bring to the Wanderers and give us another way to connect with fans across western Sydney.”