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Iker eager to feature in derby

Western United signing Iker Guarrotxena is eager to make his A-League debut in Saturday night’s derby against Melbourne City despite a limited time on the training paddock with his new teammates.United on Thursday announced the acquisition of the 28-year-old Spanish attacking weapon, who started training with his new teammates this week after serving his 14-day…

Western United signing Iker Guarrotxena is eager to make his A-League debut in Saturday night’s derby against Melbourne City despite a limited time on the training paddock with his new teammates.

United on Thursday announced the acquisition of the 28-year-old Spanish attacking weapon, who started training with his new teammates this week after serving his 14-day hotel quarantine period.

Guarrotxena is expected to be named in United’s squad for the derby at AAMI Park, and intends to make an immediate impression if given game time by coach Mark Rudan.

“I’ve trained so hard these few days and these few weeks even during the quarantine in the hotel,” he said.

“I’ve done a lot of work so I’m ready. I’ve come here to grow, I’ve come here to perform well. I’ve come here to work hard and take steps forward.

“This is an opportunity for me to develop in my career. I’m not here for the lifestyle.”

Guarrotxena – whose career has included stints with Spanish clubs Basconia, Athletic Bilbao, Tenerife, Mirandes and Cultural Leonesa, as well as Polish team Pogoń Szczecin – joins United after a spell with Greek outfit Volos.

“It was as good city and a good club, but I needed a change and this is best opportunity I could have,” he said.

Guarrotxena is grateful to have a Spanish teammate at United in another of the club’s recent signings, Victor Sanchez, as well as host of fellow countrymen throughout the A-League, including Adelaide United’s Javi López, and Macarthur FC pair Markel Susaeta and Beñat Etxebarria.

“I spoke with them and always they spoke well about Australia, because they said the football is good,” he said.

“It is the kind of football that we can adapt well to, so I think for me as well I can adapt well to this style.

“I can enjoy, I can score goals, I can help the team and I think I’m a prepared player for this style of football.

“My first target is to have a good season with the club, with the team, and of course, my personal target is to score goals.”

Western United general manager of football Ante Kovacevic said: “We are excited to have added Iker to the squad.

“Iker is a livewire on the field and will bring a lot of energy and intensity to our team, and hopefully goals and goal scoring opportunities.”

Saturday’s derby will be United’s first A-League match since their 0-0 draw with Adelaide on December 28, the opening night of the new season.

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