Guest player spot approved for 2016/2017 A-League season

Shinji Ono and Alessandro Del Piero are two of the biggest names to play in the Hyundai A-League.

Monday, 27 June 2016

Staff writer
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today formally approved the introduction of “Full Season Guest Players” for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

The Full Season Guest Player proposal was approved by the FFA Board today after discussion between FFA Management, Club Chairmen, broadcasters and major stakeholders as part of the evolution of the Hyundai A-League leading into the 2016/17 season.

The Full Season Guest Player spot will be available for all 10 clubs over and above the current two marquee spots on the Player Roster and is part of FFA’s earlier decision to set aside significant financial investment to assist with bringing big-name marquee players to the competition.

“The Full Season Guest Player opens the door for clubs to attract high profile players that not only bring talent and exposure to their market but the entire competition,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.

“This is a sign that we are serious about making the Hyundai A-League an exciting competition for our fans and an attractive proposition for high profile players to play their club football.

“As the Hyundai A-League has grown, the standard of play has dramatically improved and we believe the creation of this extra marquee position will allow for continued growth in performance but also marketability and visibility.

“We have taken input from all stakeholders across the Hyundai A-League landscape and we were unanimous in our belief that this will help grow the competition.”

Hyundai A-League clubs will receive financial assistance as part of a marketing agreement if they attract players who satisfy strict FFA criteria built around broad appeal of the entire competition. The Full Season Guest Player must fit within the maximum Player Roster of 23.

“To satisfy the Full Season Guest Player criteria players must pass stringent marketability tests to ensure the club is not only signing a quality player who can add to on field performance but they will become pivotal to the marketing of the Hyundai A-League,” Gallop said.

“It is no secret that clubs and FFA have been in discussions around this concept and players who may fit the criteria but this change to the competition regulations opens the door for all clubs to have equal opportunity to take advantage of the Full Season Guest Player spot.”

The FFA Board also approved a proposal from Melbourne City Football Club to refresh its brand and primary colours for the 2017/18 season to align with its global strategy under the City Football Group.

The decision was taken as part of the FFA’s united brand refresh for the Hyundai A-League and all 10 clubs, that will see the Hyundai A-League and the clubs start the 2017/18 season with a new look to signify the evolution and strength of the competition.

“The Hyundai A-League will undergo a brand refresh process as part of the 2016/19 strategy and FFA is encouraging clubs to collaborate with that process and consider their own brands,” Gallop said. “As a result, a number of clubs have indicated they will undergo some changes.

“FFA received a submission from Melbourne City and after two seasons of operating with a hybrid brand the change has been approved. The City Football Group has shown they are serious about their long term commitment to the Hyundai A-League and this will allow Melbourne City to grow in line with the global brand strategy of the City Football Group.

“The Board noted previous concerns raised by Sydney FC but felt that things have evolved since that time and with the increasing maturity of the Hyundai A-League, the strength of Sydney FC’s ‘Sky Blue’ brand and the many uses of light blue throughout previous and current Hyundai A-League playing strips it is now appropriate to allow for the full integration of the City Football Group’s playing strip colours. As part of the decision, Sydney FC will retain exclusivity of its ‘Sky Blue’ brand as Melbourne City adopts the ‘City Blue’ colours.”

 

Football Federation Australia

Alessandro Del Piero ‘ready’ to coach

Alessandro Del Piero salutes fans before last season's UEFA Champions League final.

Ex-Sydney FC marquee man and Hyundai A-League star Alessandro Del Piero feels the time is right to begin his coaching career.

The Italian World Cup winner has officially retired from playing and has turned his focus to coaching.

“I will admit, I do now feel ready to become a coach. If you’d asked me three years ago, I would’ve said no but things are different now,” Del Piero told Corriere dello Sport.

“This is such a complex job that allows you to experience football with a vision.

“I want to make it clear that I haven’t signed up for any course yet.

“I worked for a long time with three greats, so learned from Lippi, Capello and Ancelotti. I realised by working with them that a squad is guided with humility, intelligence and infinite patience.”

The now 40-year-old spent two seasons with the Sky Blues as their marquee signing, scoring 24 goals from just 48 appearances.

The former Juventus legend played briefly in India’s IPL after his stint in the Hyundai A-League.

Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League team of the last 10 seasons – Alessandro Del Piero

Alessandro Del Piero: “ADP” made a huge impression in just two seasons. Was at his most dangerous dropping deep and creating. His finishing was superb too.

Football Federation Australia

Graham Arnold could be more valuable to Sydney FC than Alessandro Del Piero

October 9, 2014 – 9:00PM

Sebastian Hassett

Football reporter

Big year ahead: Sasa Ognenovski, Graham Arnold and Alex Brosque of Sydney FC.

Big year ahead: Sasa Ognenovski, Graham Arnold and Alex Brosque of Sydney FC. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Sydney FC season preview 

From the rabble of the past few years has emerged something worthwhile.

There is no sugar-coating how poor Sydney FC were last season or the season before that. In fact, you have to go way back to 2009-10 to find the last time the Sky Blues finished above fifth. That’s a long time between drinks, especially when you consider the club had the most expensive A-League squads in each of those years.

Graham Arnold’s arrival would never generate as many headlines as those greeting Alessandro Del Piero but it is arguable his signature will eventually prove the most valuable one the club has ever gained.

For the first time it appears Sydney FC are evolving into a proper football club, with a plan not only for the coming year but the years subsequent. Exciting as that is, what’s more frustrating is seeing a whole decade pass to get to this point. Better late than never.

And for all the bright and rosy vision statements, there is tangible, immediate progress. The kind that will turn Sydney from pretenders into contenders. The fans can feel it, too. The club has never sold so many memberships. Arnold, once belittled by Sydney fans, will accrue messianic status if he takes them to the promise land.

But he’s under pressure. Sans media and public spotlight at Central Coast, he could tend to his garden of youngsters as he saw fit, nurturing them to the club’s maiden title. Sydney, where interfering hands and mouths are many, is a completely different beast. Schizophrenic at best, downright dysfunctional at worst.

The good news is that the squad Arnold has put together appears very much of his own making. He’s filled the gaps previous managers failed to address. New captain Alex Brosque is a cracker of a signing, a perfect fit for the left-sided attacking role. Bernie Ibini could be just as effective on the right. The musical chairs between Marc Janko, Shane Smeltz and the in-form Corey Gameiro for the lone striker’s role looms as a season-long discussion.

The midfield will feature any mix of Nicky Carle, Terry Antonis, Milos Dimitrijevic, Peter Triantis and Chris Naumoff. Not the best, not the worst. Whether Antonis develops into the star he’s threatened to be, and Dimitrijevic gets fit will probably determine their success. After being pulped by Frank Farina, it will be a test of Arnold to see what he can extract from Carle. His transformation of a waning John Hutchinson into the league’s most charismatic leader at Central Coast bodes well.

In defence, there’s enough talent should everyone stay fit. Pedj Bojic’s return from back surgery is a boost, likewise Rhyan Grant’s availability. Matt Jurman may find talented 17-year-old Alex Gersbach breathing down his neck at left back. Sebastian Ryall could be in the cold if Sasa Ognenovski and Nikola Petkovic bind together. Vedran Janjetovic is now entrenched as the No. 1 keeper but his command of the area needs improvement.

While Sydney aren’t the finished item just yet, the signs have never been better.

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

Alessandro Del Piero confirms India move

Del Piero will continue his career in India after signing with Delhi Dynamos.
Former Sydney FC marquee man Alessandro Del Piero will continue his playing career in India, signing a four-month deal with the Delhi Dynamos.

Del Piero left the Sky Blues at the end of the last Hyundai A-League season and despite turning 40 in November declared his desire to play on when in town for the recent Foxtel A-League All Stars clash against Juventus.

And the Juventus legend has found his next challenge, joining the new eight-team Indian Super League competition as a player and also the brand ambassador.

The competition, which runs for 10-weeks and is modelled on cricket’s IPL, has attracted big names like former French internationals David Trezeguet and Robert Pires, ex-England goalkeeper David James and Sweden’s Freddie Ljunberg.

Del Piero took to his official Facebook page to explain his decision and hopes to bring a positive message to India through the sport of football.

“I’m a football player, I will go to India to play football, to honor my sport and doing what’s right now are happy to do: bring a positive message combined with values of sport and to the spread of football in countries far from the traditional routes. Like India with its “Indian Super League”,” Del Piero wrote.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Alessandro Del Piero salutes Australian football

Alessandro Del Piero waves goodbye to the crowd at ANZ Stadium after being substituted.

Alessandro Del Piero waves goodbye to the crowd at ANZ Stadium after being substituted.

Foxtel All Stars skipper Alessandro Del Piero waved goodbye to Australian football fans on Sunday night in awe of just how far the Hyundai A-League has come.

In front of more than 55,000 fans at ANZ Stadium, Josep Gombau’s side almost claimed a memorable victory over Italian champions Juventus.

Only two late goals from French whiz kid Paul Pogba and Italian international Simone Pepe saved Juve, pinching a 3-2 win at the death.

For Del Piero – against the club where he made his name – the night was more than just about the result but putting on one last show for Australian fans.

“I’m happy for my performance on the pitch. Training alone is different than training inside the team that’s why I’m happy I can play in front of my former team-mates and be proud,” he said.

“In the end the result doesn’t matter. They scored in the last two minutes but we played a great game.

“We had more opportunities to score a goal, we stayed compact all the time that’s why in just one week it’s great to show to everyone, not only to big team like Juventus but to everyone, how the level of the A-League and Australian football has improved.

Del Piero played an hour before he was substituted to a standing ovation from the entire crowd.

He was embraced by a number of his All Stars team-mates, as well as some of his former ones from Juventus as he exited an Australian pitch for the last time.

“I spent a great week with my team-mates and Josep (Gombau). We trained like a team, like a real team and I enjoyed that type of atmosphere.

“That’s why I want to play on and I’m looking for the best for my career. Tonight was amazing to play a great team like Juventus, a lot of my friends play against me.

“It was a real game and everyone enjoyed that. For me it was amazing when I came off and all the people clapped their hands. That’s why I want to say thank you. I’m proud of the time I spent in Australia.”

The All Stars led 1-0 at the break thanks to Marcelo Carrusca’s strike before Fernando Llorente equalized 15 minutes into the second half.

Substitute Tomi Juric put the home side back in front with almost his first involvement with just 13 minutes left before the Bianconeri showed all their class late on.

“I’m happy with everybody. We did a good game and we showed to everyone this league has a good standard,” All Stars boss Gombau said.

“I’m proud of my players but I’m sad about the result.

“Today we projected the image of the A-League around the world. This is not easy. The people now when they think of an Australian team they think of good football. This is important and not easy to get.”

Source : Football Federation Australia

Big match preview: All Stars v Juventus

Alessandro Del Piero trains at ANZ Stadium before the clash with his former club Juventus.

Alessandro Del Piero trains at ANZ Stadium before the clash with his former club Juventus.

 

All eyes will be on Foxtel A-League All Stars skipper Alessandro Del Piero when he goes up against the club he made his name at over almost two decades.

The All Stars face a huge task on Sunday night, facing a Juventus outfit that will not only be high on confidence but with all their superstars on board.

Josep Gombau’s side have had a strong preparation with around 10 days to prepare and one training game hitout against the Young Socceroos, but will need to be at their best to topple the in-form Italian champions in front of more than 60,000 fans at ANZ Stadium.

Juventus were last in Australia six years ago when they played against Melbourne Victory but this is a very different team now.

They have won the last three Serie A titles – amassing more than 100 points last season – and have brought with them a squad choc-full of world-class talent.

But the club has endured some form of change in the off-season, with title-winning coach Antonio Conte deciding to quit the club suddenly.

Massimiliano Allegri took the reins and after a slow start, things picked up considerably in the first stop of their Asian Tour in Indonesia.

The Bianconeri crushed an Indonesian Select XI 8-1 in Jakarta, with Spanish international striker Fernando Llorente bagging a first-half hat-trick.

Playing the side’s favoured 3-5-2 formation, it was easily their most fluent performance of the pre-season and things are only going to get better as the players edge closer to peak fitness.

Given the Serie A season is only a few weeks away, Allegri is expected to select a strong line-up, with the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Patrice Evra, Carlos Tevez, Giorgio Chiellini and Paul Pogba all expected to start.

New signings like Kingsley Coman and Roberto Pereyra impressed Allegri in Jakarta and are also likely to get plenty of game time, although Arturo Vidal’s availability is less clear.

The Chilean midfielder continues to be linked to a move to Manchester United and has been battling an injury, meaning he may struggle to get on the field.

That will be of little concern to the Foxtel A-League All Stars, who are desperate to put on a strong showing against Juve.

After losing 5-1 to Manchester United in the inaugural event last year, the All Stars squad have been very vocal in the build-up talking about their determination to get a result.

And they have given themselves the best possible chance with their strong preparation.

Gombau’s troops also have the added motivation of playing with Juventus legend Del Piero, who will play his final match on Australian soil against his former club.

With defenders Matthew Spiranovic and Sasa Ognenovski forced to pull out of the squad, championship-winning Brisbane combination Matt Smith and Jade North are set to marshal the defence in a 4-3-3.

Central Coast Mariners pair Josh Rose and Storm Roux could fill the fullback roles in a midfield that will include Albert Riera, Thomas Broich, Marcelo Carrusca and Gui Finkler.

Melbourne Victory striker Besart Berisha, who scored the only All Stars goal last year, will play a pivotal role leading the attack.

The FOXTEL A-League All Stars will meet Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 10 August with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network nationally. 

Match Details
FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC
Sunday 10 August 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST
Click here      to buy your tickets online. To purchase over the phone, please call Ticketek on 132 849 or get your tickets from your local Ticket agency.
Ticket Prices
Category A – $169.50 all tickets
Category B – $99.50 Adult, $59.50 Concession, $258.50 Family
Category C – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession, $158.50 Family
Juventus Active Area – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession
Ticket Prices are inclusive of GST & Booking Fee. Transaction and credit card charges may apply.
Ticket Price includes Public Transport, conditions apply.
Hashtag: #ALvJUVE

Source : Football Federation Australia

Gianluigi Buffon ready for ‘beautiful’ match with Alessandro Del Piero

Buffon says it will be a 'beautiful experience' to captain Juventus against former teammate Alessandro Del Piero.

Gianluigi Buffon says it will be a “beautiful experience” to captain Juventus against his former team-mate and Bianconeri legend Alessandro Del Piero – but he’ll be doing all he can to stop him scoring.

One of the world’s biggest football clubs arrived in Sydney on Friday morning ahead of Sunday’s clash with the Foxtel A-League All Stars at ANZ Stadium.

It will be the first time Del Piero, who is captain of the All Stars, will line-up against the club he won almost every major honour at in a glittering 19-year stay.

Veteran goal-keeper Buffon is excited to be lining up against Del Piero, his former team-mate for over a decade at the club, and admits it will be a surreal experience to see the 39-year-old on the other side of the pitch.

If there’s a free-kick

“Having a game against Alex will be something completely new for Juventus of course for me as well as Ale was already at Juventus before I started my career,” Buffon told a large media throng at the Sydney Opera House on Friday.

“It will be a beautiful experience to have this game against him.

“I hope there are a few chances to entertain the public but hopefully these chances won’t be Alex scoring a goal against me.”

Buffon, superstar striker Carlos Tevez, defender Patrice Evra and new manager Massimiliano Allegri fronted the media on Friday afternoon before a light training run at Kogarah Oval.

The Italian champions are in Sydney for a week as part of their 2014 Asian Tour, before heading home to start their campaign for a fourth-straight league title.

Allegri has taken over the reins after the shock resignation of Antonio Conte last month and admits his side have their work cut-out to retain the Serie A championship.

“This year will probably be much harder than the last years because there’s more competition than before,” Allegri said.

“The opposition are better hand have strengthened their group quite significantly.

“Juventus is still favourite but it will be more challenging championship this year.”

The first focus for Juve though is the clash with the All Stars, with more than 60,000 fans expected to turn out on Sunday night.

Star midfielder Arturo Vidal, a transfer target for Manchester United, has travelled with the Juventus squad but is no certainty to play due to a knee injury.

“He’s been running since yesterday but we will wait day-by-day to see what his condition is and what is the best moment for him to start playing again,” Allegri said.

The FOXTEL A-League All Stars will meet Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 10 August with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network nationally. 

Match Details
FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC
Sunday 10 August 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST
Click here      to buy your tickets online. To purchase over the phone, please call Ticketek on 132 849 or get your tickets from your local Ticket agency.
Ticket Prices
Category A – $169.50 all tickets
Category B – $99.50 Adult, $59.50 Concession, $258.50 Family
Category C – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession, $158.50 Family
Juventus Active Area – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession
Ticket Prices are inclusive of GST & Booking Fee. Transaction and credit card charges may apply.
Ticket Price includes Public Transport, conditions apply.
Hashtag: #ALvJUVE
Source : Football Federation Australia

Alessandro Del Piero plots Juventus downfall

Del Piero will play against his old side Juventus for the first time on Sunday.

Alessandro Del Piero’s knowledge and insight into his former club and team-mates is proving invaluable for the Foxtel A-League All Stars ahead of Sunday’s clash with Juventus.

The All Stars skipper won every major prize in 19 seasons at the Bianconeri but will be plotting their downfall in his first match against his former club at ANZ Stadium this Sunday.

During Thursday morning’s Foxtel A-League All Stars training session at WIN Jubilee Oval in Kogarah, the Italian legend was at various times in deep conversation with his team-mates, trying to get a message across.

And it may well have been advice on just how to attack the Italian champions and tips on how to deal with some of his former team-mates.

“He does (give advice on Juventus),” midfielder Thomas Broich said after training at Kogarah on Thursday.

“We were talking football last night during dinner quite a lot.

“He pointed out a few things that we need to be mindful of. It certainly helps to have him in the team.”

Del Piero, who hasn’t played a competitive match since April, looked sharp in a solid 90-minute hit-out.

The side spent the majority of the session working on combination play, with various crossing and shooting drills and coach Josep Gombau looks to settle on his starting XI.

It looks  like Del Piero will play on the left-side of a front three against Juve, spending the majority of the session in that role.

The squad appears in great spirit and unfazed at the challenge ahead, despite Juventus’ massive 8-1 win over and Indonesian Select XI on Wednesday night.

“They are going to get ahead of themselves and we’re going to beat them,” Broich joked when asked about that result.

“I think it’s going to be even more difficult (than Manchester United last year) because this team has been playing together for quite some time and they’ve been fairly successful in recent years.

“Last year Man Utd made some significant changes and I guess the team was a bit unsettled, this year we’re playing against a well-oiled machine.”

Broich sat out most of Thursday’s session with an Achilles problem but says he’s in no doubt for Sunday’s match.

The FOXTEL A-League All Stars will meet Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 10 August with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network nationally. 

Match Details
FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC
Sunday 10 August 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST
Click here     to buy your tickets online. To purchase over the phone, please call Ticketek on 132 849 or get your tickets from your local Ticket agency.
Ticket Prices
Category A – $169.50 all tickets
Category B – $99.50 Adult, $59.50 Concession, $258.50 Family
Category C – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession, $158.50 Family
Juventus Active Area – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession
Ticket Prices are inclusive of GST & Booking Fee. Transaction and credit card charges may apply.
Ticket Price includes Public Transport, conditions apply.
Hashtag: #ALvJUVE
Source : Football Federation Australia

Alessandro Del Piero ‘playing to win’ against Juventus

Del Piero says the Foxtel A-League All Stars will be 'playing to win' against Juventus.

Alessandro Del Piero says the Foxtel A-League All Stars will be ‘playing to win’ against his former club Juventus at ANZ Stadium on August 10.

 

Foxtel A-League All Stars captain Alessandro Del Piero spoke exclusively with Channel 7 about the game against Juventus on Sunday August 10
The FOXTEL A-League All Stars will meet Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 10 August with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network nationally.
Match Details
FOXTEL A-League All Stars v Juventus FC
Sunday 10 August 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:30 pm AEST
Click here  to buy your tickets online. To purchase over the phone, please call Ticketek on 132 849 or get your tickets from your local Ticket agency.
Ticket Prices
Category A – $169.50 all tickets
Category B – $99.50 Adult, $59.50 Concession, $258.50 Family
Category C – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession, $158.50 Family
Juventus Active Area – $59.50 Adult, $39.50 Concession
Ticket Prices are inclusive of GST & Booking Fee. Transaction and credit card charges may apply.
Ticket Price includes Public Transport, conditions apply.
Hashtag: #ALvJUVE
Source : Football Federation Australia