Macarthur FC 2022/23 Season Preview

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The Bulls have kicked off their season with a trophy, but can Macarthur push on and be a force in the A-League Men this season?

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Last season…

A-League Men: 7th

Finals: N/A 

They’ll win the league because…

A maiden piece of silverware for Macarthur in the Australia Cup is an auspicious start to the 2022/23 season. In addition, the acquisition of Manchester United icon Dwight Yorke as manager is a huge coup for a club heading into just its third season in the ALM competition. There is no doubt Yorke is a winner; he will bring that experience and mentality into the Bulls camp. The ALM is a competition the former Sydney FC forward is familiar with, lifting the trophy with the Sky Blues in 2006. 

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Yorke will have a strong squad at his disposal with Ulises Davila at the heart of the midfield linking up with a promising prospect of Daniel De Silva and new signing Kearyn Baccus.

There is also a crop of exciting younger players including attackers Al Hassan Toure and Lachlan Rose, who were prolific in the recent Australia Cup. The side conceded just two goals in their cup campaign, while keeping clean sheets in four of the five games – an enviable defensive record to head into the season with. 

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…

Yorke will need to turn around a concerning run of form that materialised in the back end of the year with just a single win in the final six matches. Macarthur are yet to consistently face top-flight opposition this season with Wellington Pheonix the only ALM team the side faced on its run to cup glory. 

Similarly, while a more solid defensive unit has been observed this season, it is yet to be tested at the top level regularly. The loss of a series of experienced defenders including Adrian Mariappa may compound issues in what was an already shaky defence last season – the Bulls conceded the second-highest goal tally in the league. 

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

Yorke won the ALM title in his first season in the competition as a player, and he could do the same in his first season as a manager.

The off-season brought…

Anticipation.

There is a lot of potential with the players that have been brought in this year. Barbados international Mario Williams will want to establish himself in the team’s spine offering an option in midfield or defence. However, Ivan Vujica and Jonathan Aspropotamitis join from opposite ends of the table in search of consistent game time after their moves from Western United and Perth Glory respectively. 

Macarthur continue their hunt to replace Matt Derbyshire with the acquisition of Bachana Arabuli and Anthony Carter. It will be clear to the southwest Sydney club that there are no guarantees over forwards in this competition with last season’s experiment of experienced attackers Tomi Juric and Apostolos Giannou failing to deliver anything consistently. Arabuli joins playing for teams in Europe’s minor leagues previously, while Carter has also played his career abroad up to this point most recently in Thailand with Bangkok United. There is no shortfall of examples of strikers etching themselves into ALM folklore out of the unknown with Bruno Fornaroli and Besart Berisha just a couple of examples.

Key player…

Davila has been a joy to watch since the Mexican joined the ALM. The former Wellington midfielder has a raft of impressive achievements in his three years in the competition including being ever-present in the PFA Team of the Season. 

With a solid run of form in the cup already, the boundless creativity and quality of the captain may be what spearheads the Bulls in 2022/23. 

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One to watch…

Daniel Arzani was one of Australia’s brightest sparks in the World Cup a little over four years ago as a teenager. A severe knee injury for the winger in Europe has left him with limited game time, and he will be looking to restart his career back in Australia. 

A blistering introduction to the ALM with Melbourne City in the 2017/18 season earned him a place in the PFA Team of the Season, and he was also crowned as the ALM Young Footballer of the Year that same season. 

Still just 23 years of age, the tricky winger has the potential to reignite his career at the Bulls and get back to the sparkling best we saw not too long ago.  

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Ins: Bachana Arabuli (PAS Lamia 1964), Ivan Vujica (Western United), Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Perth Glory), Daniel Arzani (Manchester City), Kearyn Baccus (Kaizer Chiefs), Mario Williams (Weymouth Wales), Matthew Millar (St. Mirren), Jerry Skotadis (Western United), Anthony Carter (Bangkok United)

Outs: Lewis Miller, Aleksandar Jovanovic, Jordan Mutch, Tomi Juric, Antony Golec, Apostolos Giannou, Tommy Oar, Adrian Mariappa, Antony Golec, James Meredith, Lachlan Sepping, Liam Rose, Michael Ruhs, Jacob Maniti

Full squad list

Goalkeepers: Filip Kurto, Nicholas Suman, Alex Robinson

Defenders: Jake McGing, Tomislav Uskok, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Mario Williams, Matthew Millar, Aleksandar Sunsjar, Isaac Hovar, Ivan Vujica

Midfielders: Kearyn Baccus, Jerry Skotadis, Ulises Davila, Craig Noone, Charles M’Mombwa, Danny De Silva, Jake Hollman, Daniel Arzani, Edward Caspers, Oliver Jones, Jesper Webber

Forwards: Bachana Arabuli, Lachlan Rose, Al Hassan Toure, Moudi Najjar, Jed Drew, Anthony Carter

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Timothy Gibson
I am a student currently studying a Bachelor of Journalism/ Bachelor of Laws while writing football match reports and feature articles.

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