A-League: Nikita Rukavytsya signs with Western United

Western United has parted ways with A-League championship-winning striker Aleksandar Prijovic, and immediately added veteran Socceroos marksman Nikita Rukavytsya to its squad.

United announced on Wednesday that Serbian international Prijovic, who scored in United’s 2-0 grand final win over Melbourne City in May last year, had his contract terminated by mutual consent.

Soon after, the arrival of 36-year-old former Perth Glory and Western Sydney forward Rukavytsya – who returns to the A-League after spending the past eight seasons in Israel – on a one-year deal was announced.

“I’m excited for this season,” said Rukavytsya, who earnt the most recent of his 21 Socceroos captain in November 2021.

“It’s a relatively fresh club but it already tasted success a few years ago and I’m looking forward to having a successful season.

“My main goal this season is to give my experience, quality and my 100 per cent to the club. From what I’ve heard, there are great people involved with the club, and (great) fans, so hopefully we can have a successful season and make everyone happy.”

Western United coach John Aloisi said Rukavytsya – whose club career has also include stints in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany – would bring “significant quality” and “invaluable leadership” to his squad.

“Nikita is a fantastic signing for us,” Aloisi said.

“He has shown his ability to score and assist at a high rate across the world, and we look forward to him bringing his talent into our team.

“His experience in big leagues and competitions across the world will be important for us, and we are equally buoyant about the impact he will be able to have on our young core of players.

“With pace and quality upfront, a great work ethic and fantastic leadership, we are confident Nikita will excite our fans this season and help us achieve our goals.”

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