Carl Jenkinson (def), transfer from Nottingham Forest, Beka Dartsmelia (mid), transfer from Lokomotiv Tbilisi, Daniel Stynes (mid), transfer from Perth Glory, Callum Timmins (mid), transfer from Perth Glory, James McGarry (def), transfer from Wellington Phoenix, Mark Natta (def), transfer from Western Sydney Wanderers, Rory Jordan (mid), transfer from Northbridge, Brandon O'Neill (mid), transfer from Perth Glory, Remo Piscopo (mid), transfer from Wellington Phoenix, Trent Buhagiar (att), transfer from Sydney FC, Jaushua Sotirio (att), transfer from Wellington Phoenix, Noah James (gk), loan ended.
Jordan O'Doherty (mid) (sp), transfer to East Bengal FC, Mario Arques (mid) (sp), transfer to SLNA FC, Taylor Regan (def) (sp), transfer to Charlestown, Brandon Wilson (mid) (sp), transfer to Lampang FC, Olivier Boumal (att) (k), transfer to Al-Merrikh SC, Valentino Yuel (att) (k), transfer to Aluminium Arak, Dylan Murnane (def) (r), transfer to Knights, Lucas Mauragis (def) (sp), loan to Wellington Phoenix, Riley Warland (def) (sp), released, Savvas Siatravanis (att) (sp), released, Sam Silvera (att) (sp), loan ended, Daniel Penha (mid) (k), loan ended, Ben Kantarovski (mid) (sp), released, Eli Babalj (att) (sp), released.
Pre-season, more transfer activity happened at this club than anywhere else in the A-League. Some departures were more surprising than others. It was pleasing to see the club keep the faith with Pappas though, who showed he knows how to build a group, and play very entertaining football, something which their fans have been crying out for for a long time now. They're going to be very exciting to watch play once again, and could ruffle plenty of feathers.
Outs - it's still unclear what happened with him, but Yuel's departure was entirely expected despite being one of their best players for the first-half of last season. Boumal and Penha leaving too - that's their three best creators by far. Kantarovski is a bit of a legend in Newcastle but injury problems prevented him from getting near the squad for all of last season so no surprise he went. Babalj never really looked good enough. Silvera and Siatravanis were too inconsistent, as were Arques and O'Doherty. Wilson was a surprise departure - he barely settled in before leaving.
Ins - predominantly Australian recruits, which says a lot. Mostly outcasts from big clubs that had either succeeded at 'lesser' outfits or not been given enough chances at top clubs. Pappas is the kind of manager that can get the most out of players like Buhagiar, Sotirio, Stynes, and Timmins though. Dartsmelia is an unknown. Jenkinson is the headline signing; impressive acquisition that fits what they were looking for at RB. Same can be said of McGarry at LB. O'Neill and Piscopo - really, really impressive signings. O'Neill will sort their defensive midfield situation out, and Piscopo gets better year on year as an inside forward. Natta is also an impressive recruit; lots of promising displays at WSW before Rudan froze him out.
May start slowly as have changed a lot of their squad. It's a strong group of determined fighters playing for a good motivator though, so not a team to underestimate either. Pre-season signings suggest an even more attack-heavy focus, which was already the indication from last season. Strengthened especially well with attacking FB recruits. Lots of speed throughout the team now. Will look to press high and overload opponents, and should do it well. Unlikely to be title candidates as they are still a lesser quality outfit than last season, but could still finish quite high due to the group that Pappas has assembled all being on the same page. Don't expect clean sheets though!
Likely key players - Jurman, Mikeltadze, Piscopo, O'Neill.