Sydney FC

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A-League

Round 6

2019-11-17 07:30:00 More Previews
A-League
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Sydney FC

In


Patrick Flottmann (def) Air Force (THA); Ryan McGowan (def) Brentford; Luke Brattan (mid) Manchester City; Anthony Caceres (mid) Manchester City – loan made permanent; Alexander Baumjohann (mid) Western Sydney Wanderers; Kosta Barbarouses (att) Melboure Victory; Harrison Sawyer (att) Davao Aguilas (CHI);

Out


Alex Cisak (sp) (gk) released; Aaron Calver (r) (def) Western United; Jop van der Linden (sp) (def) AVV Colombia; Joshua Brillante (r) (mid) Melbourne City; Siem de Jong (r) (mid) Ajax – end of loan; Daniel De Silva (sp) (mid) Central Coast Mariners – end of loan; Reza Ghoochannejhad (sp) (att) APOEL Nicosia – end of loan; Mitch Austin (sp) (mid) Partick Thistle; Alex Brosque (sp) (mid) end of career; Jacob Tratt (def) Perth Glory; Cameron Devlin (mid) Wellington Phoenix;

After unexpectedly winning the title last season now in his second season in charge coach Corica will have to show even more inventiveness if he wants his team to maintain top status. The main thing that happened over the summer was depletion of the squad’s depth. Not only 3 regulars left, but also vastly reliable in key games captain Brosque retired. Squad definitely doesn’t look complete a week before the start of the season and more new signings could be expected as the campaign starts. Veteran Le Fondre is the only typical centre forward in the group, also 2 of the only 4 centre-backs Wilkinson and McGowan are veterans with well-known history of injury issues. If all is well Sydney’s back 4 have huge experience and should be very hard to breach, but all back up options lack A-League experience and this is concern. In midfield Baumjohann was signed from arch-rivals Wanderers to partner with Ninkovic and O’Neill. Here the depth is very good though as all of Retre, Brattan and Caceres are also gifted midfielders. Sydney’s forward actions are expected to be focused around speed as fast Le Fondre will have the support of the fit-again Buhagiar (missed entire last season with ACL) and proven newcomer Barbarouses. All 3 of them are lightning fast and like to run at defenders. All in all the main XI are solid, but many of those players are 30+ now, several even 34+, and during the course of the season it might be a challenge to keep them fresh and fit. Especially once the Asian Champions League commitments begin in February.

Target


Aiming at another Grand Final, but lack depth and also many of the key players are in advanced age. Hopes are high, but realistically even top 4 finish should be seen as success.

Season Review
2018/2019

Champions: Sydney FC

Sydney FC won their fourth A-League title after penalty shootout win in the away Grand Final vs. Glory. The Sky Blues also reached the FFA Cup final in December, but it was lost 1:2. Under new management, Steve Corica was taking charge at this level for first team and, with pre-season hot shot Buhagiar sustaining season-ending injury even before the first round arrived, many worried that this campaign will be more about rebuilding than anything else. Mixed results in the first 7 rounds certainly made that impression even stronger, but then around mid-December and right after losing the FFA Cup final the team’s attitude and desire changed. Run of 7 wins in 8 rounds between mid-December and late January saw Sydney moving up from 6th to 3rd in the table. The consistency to challenge Glory for first place was still not there, in 2019 Sydney were held to draws by strugglers Wanderers and Mariners + suffered defeats against Roar and Jets, but with Victory also stumbling the battle for second place was hot. Crucial in that battle was the 2:1 home win exactly vs. Victory in round 24. Then Sydney went on to hammer Victory 6:1 in the semi-final too. Le Fondre’s goals made the season-long absence of Buhagiar go unnoticed, while when fit De Jong also had positive impact on almost every game he took part of. Corica will have to show flexibility in order to keep the same level of success next season, with some of the key players leaving this summer. This means that close monitoring of the team’s transfer activity will give hint as to how successful they could be in defence of their title.


Player of the Season: Adam Le Fondre

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