Jack Rodwell comes close to scoring a stunning opener on his A-League debut for Western Sydney Wanderers as he makes his first appearance in SIXTEEN MONTHS
- Jack Rodwell has signed a one-year contract with Western Sydney Wanderers
- The 30-year-old almost scored a stunning goal on his debut for the Wanderers
- The derby clash between the Wanderers and Sydney FC ended in goalless draw
- Rodwell hadn’t played competitively since 2019-20 season at Sheffield United
- His last appearance came as a substitute in a 1-1 draw at Burnley on July 5, 2020
Forgotten man Jack Rodwell announced his return to football with a bang as he made his debut for Australian outfit Western Sydney Wanderers.
Once a highly-rated English talent, who won three caps for his country, Rodwell made his first appearance since July 2020 as he stepped out on to the pitch in the Sydney derby.
The 30-year-old almost stole the show with a thunderous 30-yard strike with seven minutes left to play but the clash between the Wanderers and local rivals Sydney FC ended in a goalless stalemate.
Jack Rodwell (R) announced his return to football on his debut for Western Sydney Wanderers
Rodwell tested Andrew Redmayne with a 30-yard strike seven minutes from the end of play
Wanderers boss Carl Robinson brought Rodwell into the fray 15 minutes from the end and the midfielder had an instant impact.
Rodwell tested Andrew Redmayne in the opposition goal with his wonder strike but the Sydney goalkeeper pulled off a stunning save to force the shot over the bar for a corner.
The ex-Premier League man was handed the chance to resurrect his career in the A-League after putting pen-to-paper on a one-year deal.
The midfielder was brought on with 15 minutes of the game left and had an instant impact
But Rodwell was denied the opener as his stunning attempt on goal was tipped over the bar
The former England international’s last appearance came as a second-half substitute for Sheffield United during a 1-1 draw at Burnley on July 5, 2020. In fact, that was his first Premier League appearance since May, 2017 when Sunderland were thumped 5-1 at Chelsea.
Upon joining the Wanderers, who are managed by ex-Wolves and Wales midfielder Carl Robinson, Rodwell spoke of his happiness at completing the move,
‘This move is really exciting for me, I’ve been looking at the opportunity to play in Australia for a couple of months and with my wife being from Western Sydney, the Wanderers was the perfect destination,’ Rodwell told the club’s official website.
The 30-year-old is back in football after signing a one-year deal with the A-League side
His last competitive match came 16 months ago for United against Burnley on July 5, 2020
‘Australia is like a second home to me, it’s my favourite country on earth, it’s where my wife and her family are from; we love the place.
‘I honestly can’t wait to play. With the opening match being the Sydney Derby, everyone in my family will be there watching so it is a huge opportunity and something I am really looking forward to.
‘I’d like to thank the club for this opportunity, and hope I can repay the faith they have shown in me.’
Rodwell will hope to resurrect his career Down Under after it went stale in England. A precocious teenager at Everton, he went on to make 109 appearances, following his debut in 2007, before joining Manchester City in 2012 – winning the Premier League title in 2013-14.
Rodwell burst on the scene at Everton in 2007 – making 109 appearances for the club in total
He joined Manchester City in 2012 but the move never worked out for the club or player
Despite that triumph, Rodwell had played a bit-part role in his two years at the Etihad due to the competition for places in midfield and injury problems.
He joined Sunderland in the summer of 2014 but three years later was frozen out of the squad after their relegation from the Premier League.
He then signed a one-year deal at Blackburn for the duration of the 2018-19 campaign and then turned down the offer of a new contract.
A free agent in January 2020, he signed for Sheffield United but only made two appearances during that Covid-hit 2019-20 campaign. And things didn’t get any better last term as he failed to make a single appearance for the Blades before being released in June.