The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have today announced that Foundation Player Shannon Cole will say goodbye to the Club following tomorrow night’s AFC Champions League match against Shanghai SIPG.
Having been signed as one of the inaugural Wanderers players on 30 June 2012, Cole made his debut for the Red & Black in the Club’s first-ever competitive match against Central Coast Mariners.
The versatile Cole made 53 Hyundai A-League appearances for the Wanderers across five seasons, netting two goals.
Should he feature tomorrow against Shanghai SIPG, Cole will also leave the Club having made 20 AFC Champions League appearances—the most of any player in Wanderers history.
Cole will forever be remembered for his starring role in the Wanderers’ 2014 AFC Champions League triumph, where he scored three key goals and played crucial parts in both legs of the Final on his way to being named in the Team of the Tournament.
The 32-year-old was a leading figure in helping shape the Wanderers change-room as it is today and holds the honour of having penned the team’s victory song, which he’s also led for the past five seasons.
Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas thanked Cole for his enormous contributions to the Club.
“Shannon has been an amazing professional for this Club and has always epitomised what the Wanderers are all about when he has taken the field for us,” said Tsatsimas.
“He is the last of the Foundation Players in a continuous sense and we cannot be prouder of his immense contribution to the cause in getting the Club to where it is today on and off the pitch.
“All of us at the Wanderers wish him and his young family all the very best for the future. His legacy and his successes at the Club are set in stone.”
Cole said he will forever look back fondly on his time with the Club.
“It’s been an amazing ride to go from day one when we were first brought together and to experience what we’ve gone through and help build the culture that we have now,” said Cole.
“To do the thing I love and to do it for five years with a Club that has already made history and is going to continue to grow and make a huge impact on Australian sport is something I’m very proud of.
“It just feels like a good time to part ways. Having been a part of the first phase of this Club, experiencing success and failure and doing all that, being the last Foundation Player I think it’s a good time to step away and let the Club evolve to whatever it’s going to be next.”
The Wanderers take on Shanghai SIPG in the final group stage match of their 2017 AFC Champions League campaign tomorrow night at Campbelltown Stadium at 8:00pm.
Tickets are available for $15 at the gate.