Hemed ready to fire in ALM for Wanderers

Western Sydney forward Tomer Hemed is promising a big finish to his first season with the A-League Men club, starting with Saturday’s derby against Sydney FC.

Get your tickets to the Sydney Derby here.

The Israeli has endured a stop-start campaign following his move from Wellington to the Wanderers, scoring three goals in 11 appearances.

It’s a similar return to how he begun life in the ALM with the Phoenix before catching fire in the back end of the 2020-21 season, scoring six goals in his final five matches of the campaign as Wellington just missed out on a finals berth.

The former Brighton and Hove Albion player says he’s ready to fire the 10th-placed Wanderers into an unlikely finals tilt starting with the visit of the Sky Blues to Commbank Stadium this weekend.

“I have a lot to give for the team this season,” Hemed told AAP.

“The start of the season had a few stops for me due to injury, COVID, a lot of things that didn’t really get me to play every game and get the rhythm that I want.

“Now I feel good and ready for playing every game, training hard every day and, for me, I know that from now until the end of the season that’s the most important time.

“I know that now it’s my time to help the team, to score my goals and to lead the team to be where we want to be at the end of the season.

“I have experience, I’ve been there many times and I will not stop until we will get there. As a team together we must do a good run from now and I’m sure that we can do it and finish where we want to be.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 16: Tomer Hemed of the Wanderers celebrates victory during the A-League Men’s match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory at CommBank Stadium, on February 16, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brett Hemmings/Getty Images)

Saturday’s game will be Hemed’s second taste of the Sydney derby after a 0-0 draw in the opening match of the 2021-22 season.

A veteran of the Haifa derby in his homeland between Maccabi Haifa and Hapoel Haifa, Hemed also featured in Brighton’s rather bizarre M23 derby against Crystal Palace despite the two clubs being approximately 80kms apart.

“All of us are just waiting for those games,” he said.

“The biggest games when everyone – the fans, the club, the players – are waiting for them. 

“We know how important the derby is for the club and the fans and for us as well as a team, we want to win the game to begin a good run. We know that can be massive for us and give us a strong push for the rest of the season.”