Former West Brom star Dorrans out to produce for Western Sydney

Graham Dorrans celebrates a goal during his time with West Bromwich Albion Source: Getty Images

Playing in the Premier League, achieving promotion, international football, the Old Firm derby - Graham Dorrans has done just about everything in the beautiful game.

A fan favourite at West Bromwich Albion, the Scottish midfielder helped Norwich City get promoted into the Premier League in 2015 and earned 12 caps for his country.

But it hasn’t all been plain sailing for the 33-year-old, having dealt with personal tragedy and a succession of ankle and knee injuries over the past few years.

However, Dorrans has emerged stronger for the experience and insists he has plenty to give his new club, the Western Sydney Wanderers, over the next two years.

“I’ve absolutely loved every minute of the journey so far, but the journey’s still going,” Dorrans told The World Game.

“I don’t see myself slowing down any time soon. I’ve still got a few years left in me. But looking back, the clubs I’ve been at, the games that I’ve played in… it’s been absolutely fantastic. If you told me that when I was a young boy I would have bitten your hand off.

“So just to be involved with the clubs I’ve been involved with has been absolutely great. But I try not to look back, I’ll look back at it once I’ve finished and I’ve got the slippers on and the feet up on the sofa.

“At the minute I’m concentrating on the next stage and hopefully we can bring some success back to this football club. That’s where my aim is. I’m super-excited, I’ve been itching to get out and about.

“I’ve been speaking to a couple of the boys, spoken to the manager and I’m just trying to get up to date with things. The club has sorted out some bikes and stuff so I’ve kept myself fit while I’ve been in quarantine, but there’s nothing like a football session.”

Dorrans grew up in the eastern side of Glasgow, making his name for Livingston before a move south to West Brom in 2008.

He starred for the Baggies in the 2009-2010 season, scoring 13 goals and notching 19 assists as he led the club back to the Premier League.

The midfielder later linked with Norwich, helping the Canaries go up with a playoff final victory in 2015.

He then spent two years with Scottish giants Rangers and last season with Championship club Dundee before joining the Wanderers.

Dorrans debuted for Scotland in 2009 but only earned a limited number of caps for his country after his son was stillborn and, two years later, his baby daughter was seriously ill after contracting meningitis.

“I’ve worked through a couple of things with the family, but we’ve come through that and it’s made us stronger,” he admitted.

“We’ve got a tight family and I’m absolutely delighted we’re over here and it’s a new environment and set-up with the kids moving over and starting school.

"So everyone’s excited to get going. Hopefully they can enjoy it off the field and I can enjoy it on the field.”

Dorrans’ former club West Brom are struggling this season, second-bottom in the Premier League with just one win from their first 13 matches. But the one-time hero of the Hawthorns hopes they can avoid the drop.

“The time at West Brom was probably the best time of my career. I spent seven or eight years there,” he said.

“I went down as a kid just leaving home. From the top to the bottom it was fantastic, everyone made me so welcome. The club didn’t expect me to do as well as I did in my first season and I just pushed on from there.

“It was great and I still follow them. It’s been a tough start for them but they’ve got a good squad, good players coming through as well so hopefully they can do enough to survive.”

Under new coach Carl Robinson and assistant Kenny Miller, Western Sydney have signed youngsters Anthony Lesiotis, Daniel Margush, Phillip Cancar and James Troisi.

Dorrans, a veteran of over 140 Premier League appearances, has kept an eye on the A-League and the Wanderers, and is eager to get the club back into title contention.

“I’d watched a bit of the A-League from back home, on Saturday and Sunday mornings they’re on the TV,” the Scotsman said.

“So I’ve watched a few games and it’s always been a league I’ve liked. Obviously with Kenny [Miller] coming over I kept in touch with him. I’ve done some research into the club. I’ve been told how passionate the fans are so I’m looking forward to playing in front of them.

“It’s a club that had instant success when it started in the league and it’s probably under-achieved the last three or four years now. So hopefully as a group we can build a positive spirit and get a bit of success back into the club.

“I think with the new manager coming in he’s building his own team and building his own way of playing. Hopefully we can bring some success back and get everyone pushing in the right direction again.

“I’ve had some bad injuries over the past three years but the buzz is back and I can’t wait to get started.”