Topor-Stanley leaves Wanderers for UAE
Photo Source: AAP
Western Sydney have confirmed captain and foundation player Nikolai Topor-Stanley has left the Wanderers to take up a deal with a United Arab Emirates club.
The veteran defender was granted permission by the A-League franchise last week to finalise a deal with Hatta Sports club in a move that signalled an end to his time in Blacktown.
On Tuesday, the Wanderers made the move official.
"In football, opportunities such as this rarely come around and when it was presented to me I knew that it was something I had to explore," Topor-Stanley said.
Topor-Stanley departs as the most-capped Wanderer with 104 games, including three grand final appearances and a famous Asian Champions League triumph.
His exit leaves Shannon Cole and coach Tony Popovic as the remaining members from their inception into the league in 2012/13.
Goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson, who was on the bench in the club's first game of their inaugural season, rejoined the club this year after two seasons away.
Topor-Stanley said his time at the Wanderers has included the best years of his career.
"The Wanderers is a special club that in so little time has captured a nation and I'm sure it's only the beginning of more great times ahead," he said.
"It has been an honour and a humbling experience to be able to say I was and am a part of the history of this club and I will always hold that close to my heart.
"While I won't list and gloat about the achievements this club has made, I can truly say that every year the expectation was to win everything in which we competed."
Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas praised Topor-Stanley for his contribution to the club.
"Nikolai was a consummate professional on and off the pitch. His dedication did not just exist at the training ground and on game days, but to the philosophy at the core of our club," Tsatsimas said.
"He was a core part to our successes both domestically and internationally and his efforts earned him wide praise including a Socceroos call-up and many plaudits from our members and his peers.
"While he leaves us at the beginning of our season, his attitude has been flawless and we commend him on his time with us and wish him well for this next chapter in his career."
WHERE ARE THEY NOW (Wanderers' first line-up in the A-League)
Michael Beauchamp - Bankstown City
Jerome Polenz, Youssouf Hersi, Ante Covic - Unsigned
Nikolai Topor-Stanley - Hatta Sports (UAE)
Adam D'Apuzzo - Retired
Mateo Poljak, Labinot Haliti - Newcastle Jets
Aaron Mooy - Huddersfield Town
Mark Bridge - Chiangrai United (Thailand)
Dino Kresinger - NK Varazdin (Croatia)
Kwabene Appiah-Kubi - Central Coast Mariners
Shinji Ono - Consadole Sapporo (Japan)
Shannon Cole, Jerrad Tyson - Western Sydney Wanderers