Borrello hits double figures in relentless homecoming

When off-season Wanderers signing Sulejman Krpić departed the club in January, he did so having scored just two goals in 13 games and nine starts as the club’s first-choice number nine. In his place, head coach Marko Rudan fashioned a striker out of traditional winger Brandon Borrello.

It’s proved to be one of the masterstrokes of the current A-League Men campaign.

The Socceroo has been a revelation leading the line for the red and black. On Saturday night, he took his goals tally for the season to 10 with a brace against Macarthur FC, and has now scored six times in his last seven games.

Borrello’s Saturday-night brace put his full array of talents on display. The first came from distance, buried from the outside of the box into the bottom-left corner. He produced the second from a glancing header amongst a sea of bodies, in the sixth minute of extra time to steal the Wanderers a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 08: Brandon Borrello of the Wanderers celebrates scoring a goal with his teammates during the round 23 A-League Men’s match between Macarthur FC and Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium, on April 08, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jeremy Ng/Getty Images)

Borrello admits he’s loving his time back in Australia, returning to the A-League Men ahead of the 2022-23 campaign for the first time since 2017 after a stint abroad in Germany.

Speaking to Network 10 after the 2-2 draw, Borrello explained how, in a surprise off-season phone call, Wanderers boss Rudan took just 15 minutes to convince him of a return.

“When I was sitting on the couch over in Europe, I didn’t have a club at the time,” he said. “It was going into pre-season, the boss called me out of nowhere. We started talking for 15 minutes and I knew the deal was done.

“I think the boss, his main focus was making sure I’d enjoy football again. He instilled a sort of structure, a bit of passion as well, into the team first and foremost. In myself he gave me a lot of belief, and I think that’s gone a long way.

“I think it’s only the start of being back here, and what I’m able to do.”