Wanderers' Swiss star pledges A-L return

Western Sydney's interim boss Jean-Paul de Marigny says he didn't have to talk Swiss star Pirmin Schwegler into returning for the rest of the A-League season.

JEAN PAUL DE MARIGNY.
JEAN PAUL DE MARIGNY. Picture: Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Influential Swiss midfielder Pirmin Schwegler has pledged to rejoin Western Sydney's push for an A-League finals berth.

There were fears the soon-to-be off-contract import may not be back after laving Australia during the COVID-19 lockdown.

But Wanderers caretaker coach Jean-Paul de Marigny has spoken with Schwegler, 33, who assures him he'll be back before his current deal expires on August 31.

"He's been working extremely hard in Germany," de Marigny told reporters at training on Thursday.

"There was actually no convincing (needed) at all. He's the one that's made the decision.

"He's really comfortable with that. He's the one who was (on the) front-foot, communicating his desire to finish the season with this group."

The former Eintracht Frankfurt regular is expected to return to Australia at the start of July after resolving some "personal situations", de Marigny said.

Apart from injured Polish midfielder Radoslaw Majewski and Swiss goalkeeper Daniel Lopar, the Wanderers will welcome back their entire list of foreign recruits for the rest of the season.

Experienced defender Dylan McGowan is almost halfway through his mandatory 14-day stint in hotel quarantine, while Irish striker Simon Cox was Sydney-bound on Thursday.

The Wanderers' request to have a fitness bike in McGowan's room was knocked back, but they've managed to provide him with weights to maintain his core strength.

Croatian shot-stopper Vedran Janjetovic also continues to rehab from shoulder surgery, with no set timeline for his return.

Since Markus Babbel was shown the door in mid-January, de Marigny has led his side back into finals contention by picking up 12 of a possible 21 points.

They now sit a point adrift of sixth-placed Western United, who have a game in hand.

The interim Wanderers boss is keen to make his role permanent but insists there's been no contract talks, with the future of the A-League beyond this season clouded as its broadcast deal with Fox Sports hangs in the balance

"Everyone wants to be a head coach," de Marigny said.

"Is it here? Is it somewhere else? It doesn't faze me as such. If the opportunity's here, I'll accept it."

Skipper Mitchell Duke, also without a deal beyond this season, is content to live in the here and now for the time being.

"After this break from football, I'd play for free," he said.

"To have that three-month break has been tough ... so I was just happy to be back regardless."

Meanwhile, Western Sydney are yet to learn where any of their final five matches of the A-League's condensed 28-day regular season will be played.


AAP