Duke on return to training and team spirit


Western Sydney Wanderers Hyundai A-League captain Mitchell Duke says the team is happy to be back at training ahead of the resumption of the season next month. 

Duke, who has been out of action since the suspension of the league in March, has used the unexpected break away from football as an opportunity to reconnect and spend some valuable time with his family. 

“It’s been a bit tough, I’ve got a four-year-old and he’s got a massive attachment to me. So he was wrapped around my neck the whole time,” said Duke.

“But I turned the break into a positive. For me personally, I’ve got a little family so it eased my soul during this period. 

“It was hard to plan in a bit of training in between those periods especially when there was no daycare, so it’s been a tough period but I made it work.

“I saw where I was at (at training) and I am not happy. But I believe, I will work hard over the next few weeks to make sure I’m at the best level I can be for the team and I know every player is the same.”


With the countdown now on for the resumption of the season, Duke believes that the next 27 days are more than enough time for the team to get back to their best. 

“Everyone’s buzzing to be back, even after all the running that we did. No one’s complaining and everyone’s happy so that’s quite a good attitude from the boys and the club,” explained Duke. 

“This is the same preparation time as you would have in Europe anyway so we have enough time to finish off the season in good stead.

“We know where we are at and what we can do. Obviously we had that great performance against Sydney FC in our last game, so we won’t accept anything less than that standard.

“We got a lot of work to do and a lot of boys need to get their conditions up. It’s going to be a bit of time to adjust but I think everyone’s got the right attitude to get there.”


The Red & Black only have five games left of the regular season and still have a chance to make the Finals Series, which for Duke and the team is the key goal.

“I think that’s massive, we’ve seen the table, we’re not too far out. We do know Western United have a game in hand over us but we also play them in the final five games as well. we can use that as motivation,” said Duke.

“I believe that if we can stay at the level that we were at before this break, we can cause a real upset if we can make that Finals Series and then go all the way. 

“The players believe we can do something this season still and it’s full credit to the boys to being committed to finishing this season together.”