Sydney FC 2013/2014 Season Preview

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What a rollercoaster preseason it’s been for the Sky Blues. For starters their new strip is a lighter shade of sky blue, so they’re a completely fresh looking side even before player signings, new formation and the change of role for the clubs marquee marquee.

An all expenses paid trip to Italy had the club furthering their brand far away from home, the excitement of which has rubbed of on Sydney fans. It’s kind of like when the IOC President declared the Sydney Olympics the best games ever; until someone foreign said it we didn’t believe it ourselves and we now cling to it as a form of affirmation.

It’s just unfortunate that it all might be for naught. Granted Sydney’s chances this season are slightly better, but from what we’ve seen Frank Farina hasn’t got the team right yet and it could be a tough start for the Bling.

Last season: 7th

They’ll win the league because…

…of Alessandro’s captaincy. He’ll pull a rabbit out of the hat and then pull his teammates kicking and screaming all the way to the premiership. Del Piero has a wealth of experience captaining winning clubs and if he can turn his frustrations into motivational halftime speeches Sydney FC are half a chance at doing what most believe to be the impossible. Nick Carle’s return could be instrumental; if he links with ADP it will be like watching a miracle and you’ll want to be there to witness it.

They’ll be cellar dwellars because…

…they don’t gel. Against A-League opposition so far this preseason they haven’t looked the goods. All across the park there are issues, but defensively Sydney still look a few steps behind other clubs in terms of quality of football played. The incoming Nicola Petkovic needs to quickly understand his fellow defenders and Farina has to decide on who will start in the back four soon.

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.

This season Alessandro Del Piero will be playing in a more attacking role up front, leading the strikers. This will mean he should score more goals than last year where he played at CAM, which will be an effort as he put in a whopping 14 in the 2013/14 season.

The off-season brought…

…sponsors. Every second week a new announcement has been made in regards to new corporate sponsors, so financially Sydney FC must be well on their way to breaking even. On field signings have also been decent – Garcia, Petkovic and the return of Carle are all significant. However many a star does not a team make. Despite a long off-season Farina needs more time with his players to make them competitive. Hopefully a week is enough to show these new sponsors that their investment was not ill-placed.

Key player…

…Nick Carle. He’s been their key player in the past and this year he returns with an immediate weight on his shoulders. It’s ADP sitting up there, shouting directions at him. Whilst Del Piero might not actually be on his shoulders, he’ll definitely be sitting at the top of the offense, waiting for good distribution. Carle needs to have more good days than bad for this to occur and if things fall into place for him the rest of the team should follow suit. Farina may need to realise that Carle will be best utilized in the middle of attack, not launching it from defense.

One to watch…

…Matt Jurman. Competition for places in the defensive line is strong and Matt Jurman will push for a starting spot. If he keeps it and performs well, he’ll have returned to Sydney a fan favourite. It he has one or two bad games he’ll quickly be dropped in favour of Bosschaart or Petkovic. It would be perfect to see Jurman take what he has learned under Ange Postecoglou and adapt it for Sydney’s style of play, so watch as he attempts to do this.

Full squad list…

1. Ivan NECEVSKI, 2. Sebastian RYANN, 3. Marc WARREN, 4. Pascal BOSSCHAART, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Brett EMERTON, 8. Pedj BOJIC, 9. Corey GAMEIRO, 10 Alessandro DEL PIERO, 11. Richard GARCIA, 12. Blake POWELL, 13. Tiago CALVANO, 14. Mitchell MALLIA, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 16 Joel CHIANESE, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Peter TRIANTIS, 19 Nick CARLE, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC, 21. Yairo YAO, 22. Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT

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Matt Greenlaw
Editor of The Football Sack for three years, Matthew now spends his time sipping merlot whilst watching the reruns of Thursday FC.

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