Hyundai A-League season preview: Adelaide United

Adelaide United face a tough task of claiming back-to-back Hyundai A-League titles.

Adelaide United face a tough task of claiming back-to-back Hyundai A-League titles.

The Reds finally did it last season. And boy did they do it in style. It was one of the greatest sports stories of the year. Now the hard work of retaining their Premiership and Championship crowns begins.

You sense the Reds can’t wait for the season to start.

It’s been a disastrous off-season for them. Following that momentous day on May 1 – and those post-game celebrations that included Gui Amor’s pressa being hijacked and sprayed with champagne by exuberant Reds – the bubble has seemingly burst.

 

On the pitch, a loss to PS4 NPL side Redlands in the FFA Cup Round of 32 was a hammer blow. The champions were taken down by a hardy bunch of semi pros in one of the biggest shocks in Cup history.

This happened after losing five key players who helped them win the A-League double last season – Pablo Sanchez, the two Bruces Kamau and Djite, Craig Goodwin and Stefan Mauk.

Then, as if cursed, playmaker Marcelo Carrusca got injured recently and is out for around eight rounds.

 

Defender Jordan Elsey is on the long-term injury list, too, after doing his ACL.

But it’s not all bad news. The side still retains much of their defensive power – and adding James Holland to central midfield is a big boost – and going forward they’ll have a renewed impetus.

Adelaide will hope Henrique can sprinkle some of his Roar magic on the  Reds forward line.

Ryan Kitto could be the breakout player we all believed he’d be at Newcastle while there’s hope a Guardiola (import Sergi Guardiola) can be a new star in Red.

If they can all fire, and Carrusca comes back 100%, don’t rule the Reds out from making the six again.

The burning questions

*How will the new faces live up to the high standards of the players they lost?

 

*Can they adapt to the ACL and A-League schedule?

*Can they get Carrusca back to 100% after this untimely injury?

Lessons learnt from last season

*A bad start isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Road ahead

On paper it’s a relatively easy opener away to the Jets, who are still bedding in a new coach.

Then it gets serious with Wanderers back in Adelaide and looking for revenge in Round 2, followed by a blockbuster home clash with Victory and a road trip to City to round out October.

The Reds finish the season against three likely top six sides, home to Perth, away to City and home to Wanderers in Round 27.

 

They won’t have FFA Cup commitments in October and November but the ACL kicks in around February/March.

That’s when it gets tricky.

Expected strengths

*Amor’s knowledge and insights into the A-League are even greater now.

*Their defensive solidity was the platform for a Championship/Premiership double. That shouldn’t change this year.

Potential weakness

*Losing a quintet of hugely talented Championship winners isn’t easy to replace.

* Tag of champions can weigh heavy on some.

*ACL commitments – will it help or hinder their title defence?

*Can they cover for Carrusca’s loss, expected to be for the opening eight rounds of the season.

Tactical approach

The biggest difference between Amor and his predecessor Gombau is the team’s structure and pressing. Under Amor, the team is more aware of its defensive shape and doesn’t press as high all the time. When they lose the ball they still work hard to retain possession but their block is a little lower on the pitch so they don’t get played through so easily. They still press, just a little more cleverly and with a more solid structure.

This won’t change.

Breakout star

Ryan Kitto. Showed some quality at the Jets last season. Expect him to shine this time around.

Best-case scenario

The Reds make it to the Finals Series and qualify through the ACL group stage to the Round of 16 in late May.

 

Football Federation Australia

Your Hyundai A-League club’s contracted players – Updated informations – 02/Octobert

James Holland.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Staff writer
Who’s contracted to your Hyundai A-League club for the 2016/17 season? Here’s the updated list from all ten clubs as of October 1, 2016*.

ADELAIDE UNITED

KEEPERS

Eugene Galekovic
John Hall

DEFENDERS

Tarek Elrich
Ben Garuccio
Dylan McGowan
Michael Marrone
Jordan Elsey
Iacapo La Rocca

MIDFIELDERS

Isaias
Marcelo Carrusca
Ryan Kitto
Jesse Makarounas
George Mells
Nikola Mileusnic
Riley McGree
James Holland

STRIKERS

Sergio Cirio
Marc Marino
Jordan O’Doherty
Henrique
Sergio Guardiola


BRISBANE ROAR

KEEPERS

Michael Theo
Jamie Young

DEFENDERS

Jack Hingert
Jade North
Corey Brown
Daniel Bowles
Luke DeVere
Kye Rowles
Connor O’Toole

MIDFIELDERS

Tommy Oar
Matt McKay
Thomas Broich
Jacob Pepper
Joe Caletti
Thomas Kristensen
Nathan Konstandopoulos
Manuel Arana

STRIKERS

Dimitri Petratos
Jamie Maclaren
Brandon Borrello
Shannon Brady
Nicholas D’Agostino
Joey Katebian
Brett Holman

 


CENTRAL COAST MARINERS

KEEPERS

Paul Izzo
Tom Heward-Belle
Ivan Necevski

DEFENDERS

Jacques Faty
Jake Adelson
Harry Ascroft
Jake McGing
Storm Roux
Jacob Poscoliero
Michael Neill

MIDFIELDERS

 

Mickael Tavares
Trent Buhagiar
Nick Montgomery
Liam Rose
Brad McDonald
Adam Berry

STRIKERS

Roy O’Donovan
Kwabena Appiah
Connor Pain
Fabio Ferreira
Matt Fletcher
Josh Bingham
Blake Powell


MELBOURNE CITY FC

KEEPERS

Thomas Sorensen
Dean Bouzanis

DEFENDERS

Osama Malik
Connor Chapman
Ivan Franjic
Ruon Tongyi
Manny Muscat
Josh Rose
Michael Jakobsen

MIDFIELDERS

Paulo Retre
Luke Brattan
Neil Kilkenny
Anthony Caceres
Nicolas Colazo

STRIKERS

Bruce Kamau
Bruno Fornaroli
Corey Gameiro
Nick Fitzgerald
Steve Kuzmanovski
Fernando Brandan
Tim Cahill
Braedyn Crowley

 


MELBOURNE VICTORY

KEEPERS

Lawrence Thomas
Lucas Spinella
Alastair Bray

DEFENDERS

Jason Geria
James Donachie
Nick Ansell
Scott Galloway
Alan Baro
Daniel Georgievski

MIDFIELDERS

Leigh Broxham
Oliver Bozanic
Rashid Mahazi
Carl Valeri
Stefan Nigro

STRIKERS

Besart Berisha
Fahid Ben Khalfallah
Jai Ingham
Mitch Austin
George Howard
James Troisi
Marco Rojas

 


NEWCASTLE JETS

KEEPERS

Ben Kennedy
Jack Duncan

DEFENDERS

Daniel Mullen
Nigel Boogaard
Daniel Alessi
Nick Cowburn
Lachlan Jackson
Ivan Vujica
Jason Hoffman

MIDFIELDERS

Steven Ugarkovic
Mitch Cooper
Mateo Poljak
Devante Clut
Ben Kantarovski
Wayne Brown
Andrew Hoole
Kristian Brymora

 

STRIKERS

Andy Brennan
Labinot Haliti
Morten Nordstrand
Andrew Nabbout
Radovan Pavicevic
Aleksandr Kokko


PERTH GLORY

KEEPERS

Liam Reddy
Jordan Thurtell
Nick Feely

DEFENDERS

Alex Grant
Shane Lowry
Marc Warren
Dino Djulbic
Aryn Williams
Josh Risdon
Joseph Mills
Rhys Williams

MIDFIELDERS

Mitch Oxborrow
Diego Castro
Brandon Wilson
Nebojsa Marinkovic
Rostyn Griffiths
Milan Smiljanic

 

STRIKERS

Andy Keogh
Adam Taggart
Jamal Reiners
Chris Harold
Kosta Petratos
Joel Chianese


SYDNEY FC

KEEPERS

Vedran Janjetovic
Danny Vukovic

DEFENDERS

Aaron Calver
Alex Wilkinson
Michael Zullo
Rhyan Grant
Sebastian Ryall
Matthew Jurman
George Timotheou

MIDFIELDERS

Milos Dimitrijevic
David Carney
Milos Ninkovic
Josh Brillante
Brandon O’Neill

STRIKERS

George Blackwood
Bernie Ibini
Filip Holosko
Matt Simon
Alex Brosque
Bobo
Charles Lokolingoy
Bai Antoniou

i


WELLINGTON PHOENIX

KEEPERS

Glen Moss
Oliver Sail
Lewis Italiano

DEFENDERS

Andrew Durante
Louis Fenton
Tom Doyle
Dylan Fox
Marco Rossi
Jacob Tratt
Ryan Lowry

MIDFIELDERS

Michael McGlinchey
Alex Rodriguez
Matthew Ridenton
Vince Lia
Roly Bonevacia
James McGarry
Gui Finkler
Adam Parkhouse
Alex Rufer

 

STRIKERS

Kosta Barbarouses
Roy Krishna
Logan Rogerson
Hamish Watson


WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

KEEPERS

Jerrad Tyson
Andrew Redmayne

DEFENDERS

Shannon Cole
Nikolai Topor-Stanley
Brendan Hamill
Jackson Bandiera
Scott Neville
Aritz Borda
Robert Cornthwaite
Jonathan Aspropotamitis
Jack Clisby

MIDFIELDERS

Mitch Nichols
Dimas Delgado
Bruno Piñatares

 

Steven Lustica
Kearyn Baccus
Jumpei Kusukami
Jaushua Sotirio
Mario Shabow
Liam Youlley
Jacob Melling
Nicolás Martinez
Emilio Martinez

STRIKERS

Brendon Santalab
Lachlan Scott
Kerem Bulut

www.a-league.com.au has attempted to make this list as accurate as possible based on information supplied. 

 

Football Federation Australia

 

Hyundai A-League season preview: Western Sydney Wanderers

Can the Wanderers go one better in 2016/17?

Sunday, 2 October 2016

John Greco @Grecs7
The Wanderers have played in – and lost – three Hyundai A-League Grand Finals in their short and remarkable history. Is this finally the year to win a Championship?

Last season, Wanderers finished the regular season in second spot and fell short of winning the championship on Hyundai A-League grand final day in Adelaide.

A successful year of sorts with the club back in Asia and back in the Finals Series. But their grand final heartache mirrored a previous two attempts in 2013 in Sydney and Brisbane 12 months later.

 

It’s been the one blot on an otherwise stunning first four years of this extraordinary club.

With this in mind, it’s been an off-season with a large personnel overhaul.

Their pre-season results have been mixed, but that’s more a reflection of coach Tony Popovic’s desire to try things.

 

Their trip to Japan last month would’ve been key in bedding down the team’s philosophies and ambitions.

With a blockbuster Sydney Derby at a new home ground in Round 1, they will want to hit the ground running.

But look for the Wanderers to build. It’s not where you start, but where you finish.

And we think they’ll finish strongly.

The burning questions

*Can they turn their new homes at ANZ and Spotless into a fortress?

*Can the Wanderers become Kings of Sydney again? They are without a win in their last seven clashes against the Sky Blues in the Sydney “Classico”

 

*How will the ACL affect them at the back end of the season?

*Will the unpredictable Kerem Bulut fulfil his potential? Wanderers really do need him to hit double digits this season

Lessons learnt from last season

*Recruiting of imports. While Andreu, Dimas and Alberto generally did well, Piovaccari struggled badly. If he’d have fired, they might have won the Championship.

Road ahead

No FFA Cup, but there is ACL group football later in the season.

Wanderers have a Sydney Derby blockbuster to open the season, before a grand final rematch with the Reds six days later.

Considering they have never won a match in the opening two rounds of a season in their history, it could be a tricky start.

Back-to-back home matches against the Jets and Mariners complete their opening month.

 

The two months from mid-December to mid-February will be the big test for the side, with six out of eight games in that period away from home.

But it’s easier on the run home – which coincides with the start of their ACL commitments, with six of the last nine matches at Homebush, including games against City, Victory and Adelaide in the last month.

Expected strengths

*Nichols, Martinez, Bulut, Jumpei and Santalab are all exciting players in the front third, all with different facets to their game. If they can click, the Wanderers could be hard to stop.

Potential weakness

*Another major turnover in the squad, could take time to gel.

*ACL commitments may affect them at the back end of the season.

Tactical approach

The Wanderers’ evolution from a defensively solid, counter-attacking style to a pro-active, free-flowing passing game was one of the highlights of last season.

And with the players they have recruited this off-season, it should be more of the same.

In their 4-2-31 system, a strong defensive base will again be their bed-rock, with Nikolai Topor-Stanley likely to be partnered by highly rated Spaniard and new signing Aritz Borda.

 

Scott Neville has the right-back position sewn up but the left remains open, with Jack Clisby and indefatigable foundation player Shannon Cole as options.

The holding midfield roles are likely to go to imports Dimas Delgado – who was excellent last season – and Bruno Pinatares, while in front of them the options are electrifying.

Kerem Bulut or Brendon Santalab will be the central striker up top, with the service to come from the likes of Mitch Nichols, Nicolas Martinez, Jumpei Kusukami, Steve Lustica and Jaushua Sotirio.

Breakout star

Kerem Bulut. The 24-year-old is back in the Hyundai A-League with a point to prove. Has had a chequered past but is a genuine goal-scorer when he gets it right.

 

Best-case scenario

The Wanderers squad looks as strong as last season and one of the best in the entire Hyundai A-League. After finishing so close in 2015/16, nothing less than silverware is acceptable for the ambitious Popovic.

 

Football Federation Australia

Sydney United 58 FC crowned PS4 NPL Champions of Australia

Sydney United 58 FC celebrate their 2016 PS4 NPL national title. Image courtesy Football NSW/Brendan Esposito

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Staff writer
Sydney United 58 FC are the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) Champions of Australia for a second time after defeating the Edgeworth Eagles 4-1 in the 2016 Grand Final at Edensor Park this afternoon.

A hat-trick from Glen Trifiro, who was named the John Kosmina Medallist for a second time after he also took out the accolade when Sydney United 58 FC won the inaugural title in 2013, led the Football NSW and former NSL club to claim the PS4 NPL trophy as well as securing an automatic spot in next year’s Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.

The visiting Edgeworth Eagles, who recorded impressive away wins over Bentleigh Greens and Perth SC to reach the decider, started brightly in front a strong contingent of travelling supporters but went into the break trailing 2-0 after goals from Panny Nikas and Trifiro.

Edgeworth’s Japanese star Keigo Moriyasu put the Northern NSW club back into the contest with 20 minutes to go when he found the back of the net on the follow up after Sydney United 58 goalkeeper Thomas Manos had saved his initial penalty effort.

But two more quality strikes from Trifiro on the counter attack as Edgeworth chased the game ended any hope of a grandstand finish as Sydney United 58 FC and Head Coach Mark Rudan finished their year on a high with victory in the match to decide the best PlayStation 4 NPL club in the country.

PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2016 Grand Final Review

Sydney United 58 FC 4 (Nikas 17’, Trifiro 29’/78/88’)

Edgeworth Eagles 1 (Moriyasu 69’)

Sunday 2 October 2016

Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park NSW

Referee: Alex King

Sydney United 58 FC starting line-up: 21.Thomas Manos (gk), 2.Kristopher Vlismas, 3.Masato Mochizuki (20.Tomislav Uskok 64’), 6.Chris Payne (10.Robert Mileski 83’), 7.Yutaro Shin (11.Nikola Taneski 88’), 8.Peter Triantis, 14.Nicholas Stavroulakis (c), 17.Theo Kofinas, 18.Glen Trifiro, 19.Matthew Bilic, 23.Panagiotis Nikas

Substitutes not used: 5.Nathan Bertolissio, 30.Luke Babic (gk)

Yellow cards: Vlismas 23’, Stavroulakis 68’

Red cards: Nil

Edgeworth Eagles starting line-up: 1.Jim Fogarty (gk), 2.Daniel McBreen (8.Daniel Minors 90’), 3.Domenico Bizzarri, 4.Patrick Wheeler, 5.Ayden Brice, 7.Bren Abbott-Hammel (9.Brody Taylor 69’), 10.Keanu Moore, 11.Dylan Holz, 15.Josh Evans (c), 17.Keigo Moriyasu, 19.Aaron McLoughlin (12.Aden Gardner 76’)

Substitutes not used: 6.Lachlan Pasquale, 20.Joshua Low (gk)

Yellow cards: Wheeler 10’, McBreen 27’, Holz 63’, Bizzarri 83’

Red cards: Nil

 

Football Federation Australia