Sydney FC 2019/20 W-League season preview

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After adding another championship to their collection last season, Sydney FC will be hungry to become the second side to win back-to-back trophies. 

Last season…

W-League: 3rd

Finals: Grand final winners

They’ll win the league because…

Consistency in their squad from last season should make it easier for head coach Ante Juric to get his plans across.

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Amongst their retained list is Chloe Logarzo, Alanna Kennedy, Catlin Foord, along with American sensations Sofia Huerta and Aubrey Bledsoe.

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Captain Teresa Polias is heading into an astonishing tenth season with the club whilst Princess Ibini is another established name in the Sydney setup despite her youth.

The subtle hint between seniority and youth should benefit a team who mostly know the ropes in the W-League, with an average age of their squad being 23.

They have kept the spine from their grand final triumph over Perth Glory with nine players retained from the starting side that day. With no real need for acclimatisation for the players, pre-season should have been straight forward for the champions.

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

The Sky Blues were not particularly consistent throughout the 2018/19 regular season. They only amalgamated six wins across the competition, with their biggest winning streak being three on the trot. By their own admission, they should be doing a lot better.

The loss of Matilda stalwart Lisa De Vanna to European powerhouse Fiorentina will hurt the side. Her tenacity and grit on the left side of the attack will leave a huge gap. Similarly, last season’s grand final hero Samantha McCaskill has returned to the MLS and Matilda Amy Harrison has not been re-signed to Sydney.

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If Sydney are to challenge for the title once more they will need to find replacements in the striking department. The notable absence of any new big-name signings for this season will hurt, with perhaps too much pressure being put on inexperienced shoulders.

The off-season brought…

It has been a fairly quiet off-season for Sydney but key few signings may make the difference. Juric has brought in three key players, most notably the signing for dual sportswoman and former Wanderers’ defender Ellie Brush.

She made the permanent move to AFL with the GWS Giants last season but is keen to venture back into football after a 12-month hiatus.

Other notable signings are Remy Siemsen – who makes her return to the club – and youngster Mackenzie Hawkesby, who will be keeping the older players on their toes for starting spots this season.

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

Sydney FC have taken part in six grand finals over the 11 seasons of the W-League. This is the most out of any other side, with a success rate of 50 per cent.

If they were to take out the big dance once more they would officially become the most successful club in the country, overtaking Melbourne City who have won the same amount of deciders as the Sky Blues.

Key player

Alanna Kennedy. In a side seemingly looking a bit shallow in attack, natural leader Kennedy will have the job of steering the ship ahead of her.

The Matilda is coming into the W-League season on the back of some criticism for her world cup performances – most notably her sending off in the loss against Italy.

At still a relatively young age, she is in the prime of her career and will be hungry to prove doubters wrong.

Her commanding presence at the back along with communication to those in front of her will be critical in the attacking style Sydney play.

Her ability to pick out a teammate anywhere on the pitch with her trademark left-foot is second-to-none and will yet again prove crucial to team prospects.

One to watch…

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The 17-year-old Indigenous sensation is quickly making a name for herself.

She developed her game through the Westfields Sports High system and was also playing under the John Moriarty Foundation. She has had appearances with the Young Matildas and also the national under-17s.

With only a single appearance last campaign, the forward will be looking to show off her lighting pace and make more first-team starts to hopefully catapult her senior Matildas career.

Her quick feet and positive intent to run at opposing defenders will make her a handful to contain.

The official W-League fixture list is yet to be released and Sydney do not currently know who their round one opponents will be.

The focus will be on their pre-season friendly against Newcastle Jets in Wagga Wagga on Sunday 3rd November, with the season expected to start mid-November.

Full squad list

Goalkeepers: Aubrey Bledsoe, Trudy Burke

Defenders: Ally Green, Alanna Kennedy, Ellie Brush, Elizabeth Ralston, Taylor Ray

Midfielders: Angelique Hristodoulou, Chloe Logarzo, Mackenzie Hawkesby, Natalie Tobin, Teresa Polias, Amy Sayer

Forwards: Catlin Foord, Remy Siemsen, Shadeene Evans, Sofia Huerta, Princess Ibini

INS: Ellie Brush, Remy Siemsen, Mackenzie Hawkesby

OUTS: Rachael Soutar, Amy Harrison, Danielle Colaprico, Julia Vignes, Lisa De Vanna

Feature image credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.