Foundation Player Shannon Cole will mark his last game for the Club by captaining the side in tomorrow night’s AFC Champions League clash against Shanghai SIPG at Campbelltown Stadium, Tony Popovic has revealed.
After five seasons in Red & Black, Cole will make his last bow for the Wanderers tomorrow night, turning out for his 20th appearance in the AFC Champions League—the most of any player in Wanderers history.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday afternoon, Wanderers boss Tony Popovic announced that Cole will lead the side out against Shanghai and praised the versatile defender for his contribution over the years.
“We’ve done so much together over the last five years,” said Popovic.
“We started the Club and Shannon was one of the first players signed and we’ve been through a lot together.
“I think it’s a fitting send off for such a player at our football Club and also for his contribution here in Australia.”
Despite tomorrow marking the end of Cole’s playing journey as a Wanderers, Popovic said that this wouldn’t be the end of the Club’s association with Cole.
“It’s been a fantastic five years together, so many highs, and the Club now will go further and in the next five years and replicate the success we’ve had for the next five.
“I’m sure Shannon will either be looking from a distance if he’s playing elsewhere and if he’s not, when he doesn’t play any longer, he’ll be a big part of our Club in a different role,” he said.
Cole said he was humbled to be given the opportunity to lead the side out for his last game.
“I’m very grateful for that honour and I’m looking forward to enjoying it with the boys,” said Cole.
“It’s been a very special ride for me from day one, to build the Club from nothing and to experience some highs. It can’t last forever.
“I’m excited for a new challenge and it’s a good time for us to part ways and tomorrow night is a great opportunity to end that portion of the journey on a positive note.”