Season Preview: Sydney FC

We preview the season ahead for Sydney FC who will be looking to return to the finals in 2013/14.

We preview the season ahead for Sydney FC who will be looking to return to the finals in 2013/14.

Team After the arrival of Alessandro Del Piero to the Sky Blues at the start of last season there was a fair amount of expectation for Sydney FC to return to the top of the table in 2012/13. It didn-t all go to plan however with Farina-s team missing out on the finals after not getting a result in the last round to see them finish in seventh on the Hyundai A-League ladder on goal difference as Perth Glory progressed into the finals series.

As Sydney FC have come to realise there is always a lot of expectation on the Sky Blues performing on the park and it will be the same again in 2013/14. ADP returning for a second year gives this side an immeasurable boost but as the rest of the team will tell you they will not succeed unless the whole side liftss.

New signings Marc Warren, 2013 grand final winner Pedj Bojic and Serbian Nikola Petkovic will add significant depth to a back-line that will need to improve on the 51 goals that were conceded last season. This mark was the worst in the league and was the major factor that ensured the team was watching the finals on the TV instead of being involved in them.

Socceroos midfielder Richard Garcia will provide some spark in the midfield and could prove a deadly combination with Del Piero while young gun Corey Gameiro arrives from the Wellington Phoenix looking to impress.

It will be a tough start to the season for Farina-s troops who have had a series of injuries to the likes of Terry Antonis, Terry McFlynn, Pascal Bosschaart, Brett Emerton and Corey Gameiro. With their depth tested the Sky Blues will be looking to fend off the Newcastle Jets in the season opener at Allianz Stadium and give them the start they need to propel them towards success in the year ahead.

Manager Former Socceroos player and manager Frank Farina arrived at Sydney FC in late 2012 after Ian Crook resigned. Farina has now had a full pre-season with his side and will no doubt be aiming to challenge last year-s competition front-runners and help his team to once again establish themselves as one of the league-s elite sides. Farina has made some strong signings with a nearly complete overhaul at the back while bringing in Garcia and Gameiro to join Nicky Carle in sitting behind their Italian marquee man. Having now had the chance to put his stamp on the team, the Sky Blue supporters should feel confident in the hands of their head coach.

Star Player Alessandro Del Piero arrived with a lot expectation at the start of last season and did not disappoint as he starred for the Sky Blues. ADP put in 14 goals throughout the year with some sublime skill that had rivals and teammates equally in awe. The Italian maestro has achieved just about everything in football and will be looking to create a legacy down under by leading his team to the title in 2013/14.

Fans Since the Hyundai A-League-s inception one of the largest and most vocal groups of supporters has been Sydney FC-s “The Cove.” Residing at the northern end of Allianz Stadium The Cove played a pivotal part in cheering the Sky Blues to the inaugural title and have been unwithering in their support ever since. The Sydney FC fans will be looking for an improved performance this year and will aim to again be the twelfth man for the Sky Blues this season.

Ins and Outs

Ins Nikola Petkovic (from Red Star Belgrade, Serbia) Pedj Bojic (from Central Coast Mariners) Matt Jurman (from Brisbane Roar) Marc Warren (from Airdrie United, Scotland) Corey Gameiro (from Fulham, England) Nick Carle (from Bani Yas - UAE returns from loan) Richard Garcia (from Melbourne Heart)

Out Terry Antonis (to Parma, Italy) Fabio Alves (to Philadelphia Union, USA) Adam Griffiths (to Selangor FA, Malaysia) Joel Griffiths (to Qingdao Jonoon, China) Paul Reid (to Rockdale City Suns, NSW Premier League) Lucas Neill (released) Kruno Lovrek (released) Nathan Sherlock (released) Trent McClenahan (released) Jarrod Kyle (released)