Sydney FC 2018/19 season preview

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It’s an era-rebuild for the Sky Blues with the loss of a number of key players but new signings carry plenty of promise. Can this squad go one step further than last season and secure the treble?

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Last season…

A-League: 1st
Finals: Semi-final
FFA Cup: Finalists (due to take on Adelaide United)

They’ll win the league because…

The defending A-League premiers know a thing or two about winning – the returning players know what it takes to win the league. Alex Brosque, Josh Brilliante, Brandon O’Neill and Milos Ninkovic will be fundamental to ensuring the squad goes on with their winning ways. With the taste of success still lingering, they won’t let this season slip past them.

Head coach Steve Corica is a long time assistant coach of the Sky Blues, having been involved in the support staff since 2011. He knows the ins and outs of the club and is keen to continue the success initiated by Graham Arnold last season. Corica has also made a number of significant signings for the upcoming season and seems to have confidence in his squad. It’s going to be a good one.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

Although it might be hard to see the record breakers with arguably one of the most successful seasons in A-League history as anything but winners, a few changes have occurred over the off-season which can impact their chances. It’s a rebuild of sorts for the Sky Blues with a number of key players leaving the club – Bobo, Adrian Mierzejewski, David Carney – meaning the fresh faces have big shoes to fill.

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

No team has ever won the treble: Premier’s Plate, A-League Grand Final and FFA Cup. Last season Sydney FC came close but failed at the A-League semi final hurdle.

The off season brought

Last season’s clinical striker Bobo sealed a deal in Turkey, leaving a massive gap to fill for the Sky Blues. With Bobo scoring 27 goals in 28 appearances, a more than capable centre forward was needed to make up for his loss. Missing out on securing Fernando Torres, the managerial team turned to Adam Le Fondre – and he’s rearing at the opportunity to match, or even outdo, his predecessor.

Key player

Adam Le Fondre. The centre forward is a proven goal scorer with great confidence and belief in his ability. The 31-year-old was Reading FC club player in the 2012/13 season, averaging a goal every 124 minutes – and his start for the Sky Blues has been no different, scoring three in only two preseason matches, and two goals in the FFA Cup.

Most recently playing for the Bolton Wanderers in the second tier of English football, and with stacks of previous success throughout the English divisions, Le Fondre is bound to bring something exciting to the club. He’s already stated his aspiration to make an impact on the league, and build on top of last seasons’ achievements – there’s a goal fest to come.

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One to watch…

Siem De Jong. The former Netherlands international is an attacking midfielder or striker on loan from Ajax.

De Jong has already proved himself in the FFA Cup semi-final, setting up Trent Buhagiar’s opening goal of the match and going on to score a sublime free kick, which he curled into the top left from distance. Coach Steve Corica said the Dutchman was instrumental in the team’s 3-0 win over derby rivals Western Sydney Wanderers, and expects more of the same during the season. The 29-year-old marquee has also had experience playing for Newcastle in the Premier League and is definitely one to keep an eye on this season.

INS: Trent Buhagiar (Central Coast Mariners), Daniel De Silva (Central Coast Mariners), Jop van der Linden (AZ, Netherlands), Adam le Fondre (Bolton Wanderers, England), Siem de Jong (Ajax, Netherlands)

OUTS: Jordy Buijs, Luke Wilkshire, Matt Simon, David Carney, Anthony Kalik, Fabio Ferreira, Bobo, Adrian Mierzejewski

Full squad list

Goalkeepers: Alex Cisak, Andrew Redmayne, Thomas Heward-Belle

Defenders: Aaron Calver, Rhyan Grant, Ben Warland, Alex Wilkinson, Michael Zullo, Jop van der Linden

Midfielders: Josh Brillante, Daniel De Silva, Milos Ninkovic, Brandon O’Neill, Paulo Retre, Chris Zuvela, Siem de Jong

Forwards: Alex Brosque, Trent Buhagiar, Adam Le Fondre, Charles Lokoli Ngoy

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.

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