Jack Rodwell returns to football with Western Sydney Wanderers

Jack Rodwell has agreed a one-year contract with A-League Men side Western Sydney Wanderers. The former Everton and Manchester City midfielder had been without a club since leaving Sheffield United in June.

“This move is really exciting for me,” Rodwell told the club’s official website. “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.”

“Australia is like a second home to me, it’s my favourite country on earth,” the 30-year-old added. “It’s where my wife [Alana] and her family are from; we love the place.”

Rodwell, who has three England caps, left Bramall Lane after playing just two competitive games since the start of 2020. The midfielder, who can also play in central defence, has been training with the Wanderers for the past two weeks while awaiting visa clearance.

After making his breakthrough at Goodison Park and moving to City, his career stalled and he joined Sunderland in 2014. There, he was part of a team that suffered back-to-back relegations while earning a reported $140,000 (£75,000) per week.

“Jack is a quality player. He’s played in the Premier League at two or three top-level clubs,” Wanderers’ head coach Carl Robinson said. “I think he lost his enjoyment in football. If you speak to Jack he’s open and honest enough to say that.

“In the UK, there’s a narrative around footballers in general,” Robinson, a former midfielder with Wolves and Sunderland, added. “I said to him that he will enjoy his football, we will embrace him and we want good players in the building. He’s not just a massive addition for us but also to the A-League.”

“He has the experience of Europe and was one of the top, top players in the Premier League coming through many years ago. You don’t lose that overnight, you sometimes lose your way, your hunger and your enjoyment. But in the short period he has been here, Jack is hungry and he wants to play.”

The Wanderers begin the new A-League Men campaign with a derby game against Sydney FC on Saturday. Robinson’s side finished eighth in the 12-team division last season.