How James Donachie is helping rebuild Sydney FC’s backline

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There has been a lot of focus on the new attacking strategy for Sydney FC coming into the 2022/23 A-League Men season, but as the old saying goes: offence wins games, but defence is what wins championships.

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So, what’s happening in the Sky Blue backline that is going to ensure them a positive season?

Centre-back, James Donachie, is now into his second season of playing for Sydney FC. With some key defenders out with injury in the first couple of rounds, Donachie can be seen as a major part of the backbone to the backline.

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“It’s all a part of the game, dealing with injuries,” Donachie said.

“You just have to get on with it and get through it while it’s happening.”

Both Alex Wilkinson and Jack Rodwell are currently out with injury, meaning that there have had to be some slight changes in Sydney FC’s defensive area. While some might say that having key players out could be seen as detrimental, Donachie believes otherwise.

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“I think Wilkinson and Jack [Rodwell] are both massive players, so there’s a big amount of power there to bring back into the squad, and that gives us something to look forward to.” he said.

“But it gives you another level of confidence when you win games when they’re out, too. Gurdy [Aaron Gurd] stepped up on the weekend and did such a good job.

“The more games Gurdy has, the better it will all come along, and it can only help us.”

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Donachie scored the equalising goal in their opening match against Melbourne Victory, but when he was asked about how it felt, in true defender style, he said that he would’ve preferred to have won the game over scoring a goal.

“The biggest part of my job is to keep a clean sheet, so when we lost 3-2 to Victory, that’s three goals that have gone in there.” Donachie said.

“So, it’s understandable to say that we still have some work to do, but that’s all part of the game.

“I don’t expect it to be a smooth ride with new boys coming in and out, it takes work and it’s just something that we have to get used to as well.

“I’m positive, I think it’s gonna come good. Especially compared to last year, we’re already looking so much better in terms of our defensive space.”

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Feature image credit: Sydney FC

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Neve McGavock
Neve McGavockhttps://everneve.com/
Studying a Bachelor of Journalism and Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong. Covering Sydney FC for the 2022/23 season.

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