Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Aaron Mooy praised the class of his new team-mate Shinji Ono, who is likely to come off the bench in the club's A-League debut against Central Coast Mariners.
Ono has had two light training runs since arriving in Sydney on Monday, with Wanderers coach Tony Popovic set to step up the intensity towards the end of the week, with a view to introducing Ono into the match in an advanced attacking role, normally occupied by Mooy.
The latter would drop back into a holding midfield role to accommodate the 33-year-old play-maker, affectionately known as 'legend' in his native Japan.
“You can see how good he is immediately," Mooy said. “His touch is excellent and he will be great for the team and also the A-League.
“He can pick a pass and has great vision. I think he’s going to make a big impact this season.
“He has an aura about him and just by watching him do the little things you can see how talented he is.”
Mooy, widely tipped to star for Wanderers this season, can see a master class unfolding in front of him.
“I am really looking forward to playing with him and learning a lot from him,” Mooy said.
“I’m not quite sure how the coaching staff will use him but to play alongside somebody of his calibre is a bit of a privilege.
“I will just try and pick up as much as I can. He’s got over 50 caps for his country, has played at two World Cups and was at Feyenoord for four seasons, so he’s achieved a lot.”
Ono also had a season at Bochum in Germany sandwiched between separate stints with J-League powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds.
Mooy, who traded a burgeoning overseas career for the chance to feature in the A-League's new club, has been taken aback by the buzz surrounding the 2012-2013 season, with the arrivals of Alessandro Del Piero, Emile Heskey and Ono sparking unprecedented hype.
“I am just taking small steps and just looking to do well from Western Sydney and see where that might take me," he said. "I did learn a lot at Bolton and St Mirren and I am happy I had that experience.
“But now for me it’s all about the A-League. I have a good opportunity here to play regular football. It was frustrating not getting the game time I wanted overseas.”
Mooy is expecting a fierce A-League baptism against the Mariners at Parramatta Stadium.
“I definitely feel we have the squad to be really competitive this season,” he said. “We are all fit and focused and just cant wait for it all to start now.”
Mooy says the club’s style will be based on possession and slick passing moves, rather than the more rudimentary route one football.
“It’s about a short 15-yard passing game. We like to keep the ball moving and create chances that way,” Mooy said. “That’s the way I love to play.”
Goalkeeper Mat Ryan, defender Pedj Bojic and midfielder Oliver Bozanic look to have played their last games for Central Coast Mariners as the A-League champion faces a raft of departures.