Sydney FC star: Michael Zullo deserves credit after Sydney Derby

Sydney FC players celebrate their fourth goal against the Wanderers at ANZ Stadium.

Sydney FC star Michael Zullo heaped praise on the Hyundai A-League after a record 61,880 fans turned out to see the Sydney Derby at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Zullo likened the event as being the same as some of the historic European derbies he played in during his time in Holland.

“Tonight was world class on all fronts,” the attacking left sided player told reporters after the game.

“We really don’t give enough credit to the A-League and what it has become in this country and I think we should be incredibly proud.

“Who would’ve thought we’d have a derby match in front of 60,000 people after 10-11 years?” he said.

 

“Derbies are derbies and our fans are just as passionate as any of the fans I played for in front of overseas.

“One that sticks out for me is when my club Utrecht would play Ajax Amsterdam. That has 100 years of history, yet tonight I think it was just as fierce and loud.”

Sydney FC keeper Danny Vukovic added: “It was unbelievable, one of the best things I’ve been a part. I’m proud of how far the game has come.

“I was there in the NSL days and saw all the things that were wrong with the game back then. And to see how far it’s come 12 years later. It was a great night for Australian football.”

As for the game, Zullo said each player contributed to the win for the Sky Blues on a famous night for the club who have made a statement of intent early in the season.

“I think the biggest thing tonight… derby matches are won and lost in the battle.  And I think our midfield was exceptional,” said Zullo.

“Our centre backs, even the boys up top. Everyone won their personal battles. And from that, that kind of built a foundation which we then built on to counter-attack and score some brilliant goals.”

Zullo added he was delighted to be working in the environment created by coach Graham Arnold.

 

Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC’s Socceroo Michael Zullo on new A-League season

Sydney FC defender Michael Zullo in action in the Westfield FFA Cup.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Michael Huguenin @MichaelHuguenin
Sydney FC’s Michael Zullo spoke with Goal Australia editor Michael Huguenin about the upcoming Hyundai A-League season with the Sky Blues.

Sydney FC’s strong squad know they are in prime position to win silverware and cannot afford to waste that chance, with a number of their recruits having experienced the tougher side of football.

 

The Sky Blues dropped from runners-up in 2014-15 to seventh last term, missing out on the finals by seven points, and new signing Michael Zullo has revealed Sydney are looking to bounce back in the best way possible by targeting the A-League double and the FFA Cup this season.

Coach Graham Arnold has made a host of changes to his squad since the 2015-16 campaign, with the likes of Jacques Faty, Mickael Tavares, Shane Smeltz and Andrew Hoole moving on.

Sydney have made six major signings, targeting players with significant A-League and overseas experience.

Alex Wilkinson, Danny Vukovic and Bernie Ibini have each made over 100 A-League appearances and won trophies in Australia.

Zullo and Josh Brillante have both played over 50 A-League matches and – like Wilkinson, Ibini and Vukovic – have experienced football abroad, while marquee striker Bobo has a strong scoring pedigree in Turkey where he has won the Super Lig once and the Turkish Cup four times.

“I think we definitely have a strong squad and, you know, I think there’s a lot of positive energy around the club,” Zullo told Goal Australia.

“Everyone is really excited for the season… it’s not every day that you get the opportunity to be part of such a strong squad and it’s about making the most of it and that’s what we’re trying to do.”

The former Brisbane Roar, Adelaide United and Melbourne City man added: “Probably attacking-wise it’s one of the most impressive [A-League squads] that I’ve been in because there’s just so many options.”

Sydney’s focus to succeed in 2016-17 is reinforced by the recruits’ collective understanding of how fickle football can be, with Ibini, Vukovic, Brillante and Zullo all having experienced tough times in recent years.

Ibini, who is on loan from Club Brugge, missed the entirety of his maiden season in Belgium after breaking his leg in his first training session.

Vukovic had a tough campaign on and off the field with Melbourne Victory in 2015-16, losing his spot in goals to Lawrence Thomas, while his baby son struggled with illness.

Brillante has spent the past two seasons in Italy but after a disastrous Serie A debut with Fiorentina – he was subbed off in the first half – the versatile midfielder made just one more senior appearance for the club and spent long periods out on loan.

Meanwhile, Zullo has had terrible luck with injuries throughout his career – last term he struggled with a calf problem before a toe injury ended his campaign with City – and the 28-year-old is looking forward to a steadier season with the Sky Blues.

“Signing at Sydney was definitely influenced by the fact that Andrew Clarke is the strength and conditioning coach here,” the left-back said.

“Working with him is something that I’ve really been looking forward to because I’ve heard nothing but good things about him.”

Arnold has also impressed Zullo – “he’s extremely good at getting the best out of people” – while the Brisbane-born flyer paid tribute to Milos Ninkovic and Milos Dimitrijevic.

Zullo conceded he had probably “underestimated” the intelligence of Sydney’s Serbian midfield duo before he got the chance to see them up close every day.

“Ninkovic and Dimitrijevic are two that have stood out for me in particular,” he said.

“Just their ability on the ball to find space… it’s not so much technical ability – all professionals can kick a ball in a straight line – it’s more just that awareness to know when they’re being pressed, when they’re not being pressed, when they’ve got time on the ball.”

Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League transfer wrap for season 2016/2017 -Michael Zullo

Michael Zullo (Sydney FC) – The Socceroos fullback has signed a two-year-deal with the Sky Blues after an injury-riddled campaign with Melbourne City.

 

Football Federation Australia

Transfer news: Sydney FC sign Socceroos defender Michael Zullo

Sydney FC have signed former Melbourne City fullback Michael Zullo on a two-year-deal for the Hyundai A-League 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.

Capped ten times for Australia, Zullo becomes Graham Arnold’s second signing during the off-season following the acquisition of central defender Alex Wilkinson.

The versatile left footer, who can also play as a winger, will join the squad when they return to pre-season training on Monday 4th July, 2016.

 

“I am delighted and extremely excited to be joining Sydney FC,” said the 27-year old defender.

“This is a huge club with fantastic supporters and I can’t wait to get started.

 

“I’ve listened to Arnie’s plans for next season and I’m excited by what we can achieve and I’m confident we will still be challenging in the Champions League.”

Head Coach Graham Arnold believes the signing of Zullo is a brilliant addition for the club.

“Michael is a great signing for the club who will provide excellent cover on our left side after the departures of Alex Gersbach and Ali Abbas this year,” said Arnold.

“I worked with him in the Olympic team and know he is a fantastic guy and an outstanding player.

“He has lots of experience having represented the Socceroos and played in the Dutch first division.

“He is also an exciting player with pace and a fabulous left foot and I am looking forward to working with him again.”

Zullo has made 101 Hyundai A-League career appearances, scoring two goals while he featured 45 times for Dutch club FC Utrecht.

Football Federation Australia

 

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Zullo : Bring on Raheem Sterling and Manchester City!

Michael Zullo is ready to tackle Man City and Raheem Sterling.
Fresh from his first training session with Melbourne City FC, Socceroo Michael Zullo declared he was ready to make an impact in Saturday’s glamour friendly against EPL powerhouse Manchester City.

Zullo was one of the new Melbourne City faces who trained at the Southport School on the Gold Coast on Thursday morning ahead of the clash at Cbus Stadium.

After a wretched final year of his contract with with Utrecht which saw the attack minded left-sided defender out for the year, he feels ready to re-ignite his career in Melbourne with City.

At 26, he senses it’s now or never.

And with the EPL big boys – who could feature new signing Raheem Sterling in Saturday’s game – it’s the perfect platform to announce he’s back, as Zullo explained to  www.a-league.com.au  after his first full session under John van ‘t Schip.

“I’m going to enjoy this week as we build up to Man City.

“If I’m lucky and the coaches think I’m ready I hope to get some minutes against Man City which will be my first in 12 months.”

And he could end up marking Sterling, City’s new blockbuster signing, captured for a staggering 49 million pounds.

“I’ve been lucky enough to play against some world class players in my time and obviously he’s just been bought for around 50 million pounds, or something outrageous like that.

“So it’s always interesting to test yourself against the best and a lot of people are watching this game.

“I’ve been keeping really fit since my rehab [from injury] and this club [Melbourne City] in terms of sports science and facilities is better than most clubs I’ve seen in Europe.

“And that was a big reason for me signing. [Melbourne] City have all the fundamentals to be a massive powerhouse in the A-League, with the facilities, the coaching, the backing.

“It’s just a matter of time.”

Zullo was joined at training by former Premier League player Aaron Hughes as well as triallist Jason Trifiro from Wanderers as City coach John van ‘t Schip fine-tuned preparations for the meeting with their ‘sister’ club in the City Football Group.

And for Zullo, who’s signed a one-year deal, he’s declared a new-attitude is vital if he’s to light up the A-League again.

The former Brisbane Roar and Adelaide player conceded his confidence had taken a battering after being out for a year.

But Zullo reflected on what he needs to do, and he’s convinced a more cavalier mentality is needed by him to stand out from the crowd.

“Anyone can play it safe and if you’re afraid to make a mistake that’s what happens.

“If feel it’s the players who back themselves, not necessarily the talented ones, who make it. They’re the ones who are prepared to go out there and take risks.

“It’s a high-risk, high reward kind of environment. Anyone can play the percentages, it’s about backing yourself to make a difference.

“It’s what I keep telling myself. Getting the hunger back and falling in love with the game again, backing myself to take on players.

“And I’ve always been about being fast down the line and taking risks.”

Football Federation Australia

The Canberra Times talks about Melbourne City v Manchester City that will be played on Saturday

July 15, 2015 – 9:57PM

Michael Lynch

Recent signing for Melbourne City: Michael Zullo.

Recent signing for Melbourne City: Michael Zullo. Photo: Getty Images

For many of the Melbourne City squad that boarded a flight to the Gold Coast on Wednesday afternoon, Saturday’s clash with sister club Manchester City will be a career highlight as well as a steep learning curve.

With several of the Melbourne club’s first team squad still recuperating from injury, off-season surgery or other ailments, coach John van ‘t Schip has included a large number of youth team and fringe players in the travelling party for the first ever meeting between the two teams, both owned by the City Football Group.

That common ownership is largely where the similarities end.

The English Premier League club this week splurged £50 million on former Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling. That’s more than $100 million – enough to pay the current A-League salary cap of $2.55 million for almost 40 years!

For Manchester City, who kick off the new Premier League season in less than a month’s time, matches such as this are essential.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini will look at fringe players, bring in new signings and try to find the right blend for the Sky Blues to mount a serious title challenge against last season’s league winners, Chelsea.

But in its way the game is just as important for van ‘t Schip, as he too will use fixtures like this, and the more competitive games in the FFA Cup that are just over the horizon, to try to blend in his new acquisitions and work on a game plan for the new campaign.

This will be a new-look Melbourne and the ambitious club, which reached the last four of the competition last year, is looking to mount a serious title tilt of its own this season. With cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory holding the trophy, City will lack for nothing in motivation.

Signings such as Socceroo full-backs Michael Zullo and Ivan Franjic are a major upgrade on the flanks, while veteran Northern Ireland centre-back Aaron Hughes will bring stability and experience to the defence.

Aaron Mooy has been linked with a potential move to Europe, but City could offer last year’s player of the season an upgraded new deal and, with the retirement of former Socceroo Josh Kennedy, make Mooy the club’s Australian marquee.

City has been linked with a number of targets in the transfer rumour mill – including former Danish international goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and Uruguayan striker Bruno Fornaroli – but van ‘t Schip would offer no comment on Tuesday.

Having let Andrew Redmayne go to Western Sydney Wanderers, City now only have one experienced shot stopper in Tando Velaphi. Sorensen is vastly experienced, having spent 17 years in the Premier League and played more than 100 times for his country, but he has just turned 39.

Fornaroli has been something of a journeyman in a career that has taken him from his native Uruguay to periods in Italy and Greece as well as a stint in Brazil.

Asked about finding a like-for-like replacement for the tall Kennedy, whose back injuries forced him to call time on his career last month, van ‘t Schip said it was important to find a player who could cope with the rigours of the A-League.

“We are looking for a player who can manage the load, who can do the things that we have in mind. There are a few players that we have on target and hopefully we can get one of them in soon.”

Asked to comment on Sorensen and Fornaroli, the Dutchman was short and sharp.

“We still have some spots to fill in and hopefully we can come to a quick solution in that. ”

He is looking forward to his young players learning plenty from their clash with City on Saturday.

“It’s an historic moment for both clubs, for us especially of course playing in Australia against our sister club. It’s going to be a great moment for our players to step on the pitch and play against them.

“It’s a pre-season game; we will have a lot of changes both teams. For us it’s going to be the first hitout. We don’t know what to expect, we just have to focus on our own team. We saw then in England last year before they went to the US, we were there together in Abu Dhabi in their winter, so this will be the third occasion that we are meeting as teams, but now on the pitch,” van ‘t Schip said.

“It’s going to be an experience for the young players: they will see their movement, the way they play, the touches they have. But we are good players ourselves, and we have to prepare ourselves in a good way and give them as hard as possible a game.

 

The Canberra Times

Melbourne City FC sign Michael Zullo

Zullo
Melbourne City FC have continued their off-season signing spree, with the club revealing they’ve secured the services of Michael Zullo for next season.

The 26-year-old joins Melbourne City FC on a one-year deal, marking a return to the Hyundai A-League after a spell in the Dutch Eredivise with FC Utrecht.

Zullo underwent his medical at the City Football Academy, Melbourne, on Tuesday and is expected to travel with van’t Schip’s squad ahead of this Saturday night’s clash with Manchester City FC at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Born in Brisbane, Zullo first emerged through the state league ranks in Queensland with Brisbane City and Brisbane Strikers, before making his mark in Australia’s domestic competition with Brisbane Roar.

The left-sided utility made 53 appearances for the Roar prior to his move to Dutch outfit Utrecht in 2010, and returned to Australia for a loan spell with Adelaide United during the Hyundai A-League 2013/14 season.

Zullo’s rise to prominence earned him recognition at the international level, making 10 appearances for the Socceroos since his full debut against Indonesia in the group stage of qualifying for the 2011 Asian Cup.

John van’t Schip said Zullo would add experience and depth to his defence.

“We know Michael’s potential; he has spent time with a big club in Holland and with the Socceroos so we expect him to be an important member of the squad. He is motivated for all the right reasons,” van’t Schip said.

Zullo said his ambitions aligned perfectly with his new club.

“I think Melbourne City has the best setup in Australia right now and think the club’s goals and my goals align pretty well,” Zullo said.

“For me the priorities are to be in a really professional environment and at a club with the ambition to win.”

Player Details
Michael Zullo
DOB: 11/09/1988
Place of birth: Brisbane, Australia
Position: Left-back, Left Winger
Clubs (Appearances, Goals): Brisbane Strikers (45,11), Brisbane Roar (53,2), FC Utrecht (34,0), Adelaide United [loan] (24,0)


Football Federation Australia

Who will make the Socceroos’ World Cup squad ?

May 9, 2014 – 10:42PM

Sebastian Hassett

Football repórter

Generation next: The Socceroos, likely to be led by Mile Jedinak (centre) in Brazil, will be virtually unrecognisable to previous World Cup squads.

Generation next: The Socceroos, likely to be led by Mile Jedinak (centre) in Brazil, will be virtually unrecognisable to previous World Cup squads. Photo: Getty Images

 

When Ange Postecoglou names his 30-man provisional squad for the World Cup next Wednesday, he will maintain the dreams of a select few and confirm the nightmares of many.

Whereas the bulk of previous Australian squads have been largely predictable for up to a year before the tournament itself, the opposite is true in 2014.

Compare this squad to the one that finalised qualifying for the event in June last year. Mark Schwarzer and Brett Holman have since announced their international retirements, while Lucas Neill, Archie Thompson and Sasa Ognenovski have effectively been made redundant by Postecoglou. Replacements are also required for the injured duo of Robbie Kruse and Rhys Williams.

Luke Wilkshire, Josh Kennedy and Mark Bresciano will have a nervous few weeks; they should make the extended squad but the final 23-man selection may be a close call.

Postecoglou’s radical overhaul of the squad will undoubtedly be further shaped by the week-long training camp in Gosford, beginning on May 16. After that, he will swing the axe on an unlucky group of seven players before boarding the plane for Rio.

Goalkeepers
Seeing the goalmouth sans Schwarzer will be hard to fathom for quadrennial followers of the national team, such a fixture did he become. Mat Ryan has grasped the nettle to become the heir apparent – his form with Club Bruges in Belgium so good that Real Madrid have apparently been monitoring his work between the posts. Mitch Langerak’s limited opportunities at Dortmund don’t seem to have hindered his popularity in the national set-up. Adelaide’s Eugene Galekovic has again played too well in the A-League to be ignored, making those three almost certain to go to Brazil. The final keeper of the 30-man squad, however, divides opinion. “I’d be choosing Ante Covic. He’s experienced, he’s had a great year and hardly put a foot wrong,” ex-Socceroos keeper Clint Bolton says. “But I think Ange prefers keepers who can play with their feet, and that might count against him. He will probably take Brad Jones.” However, former Brisbane and Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg reckons a phone call to Stamford Bridge is in order. “Sometimes you have to be humble as a coach and pick the right player, despite previous decisions,” he said. “That’s why Ange should call Mark Schwarzer and ask to him to change his mind. What we have seen from him is that he’s still Australia’s best goalkeeper. If we were playing in a quarter-final tomorrow, I know who I’d want in there.”

Prediction: Matt Ryan, Mitch Langerak, Eugene Galekovic, Brad Jones.

Defenders
After initial optimism about the youth coming through in defence, Australia risk going to Brazil with arguably the tournament’s most inexperienced back line. Despite his age, Wilkshire remains a good shot to make the 30-man squad and then get to Brazil should he train the house down in Gosford. “He’d be an excellent back-up on the bench and he’s versatile,” Bolton says. “He’s experienced, has been to two World Cups and is still playing at the top level.” Trent Sainsbury and the relatively untried Curtis Good are certainties but only if they can prove their fitness in coming weeks. “Curtis is the most naturally gifted defender to play in front of me,” Bolton says. “He’s really that good. His composure and reading of the play are outstanding. My only query is about what style of football he’s been exposed to in Scotland.” If there’s a bolter for the interim selection, it’s most likely to come at the back. Adelaide utility Osama Malik has a claim for being the most improved player in the A-League, and covers all the roles of the injured Williams. Alex Wilkinson seems to have found favour with Postecgolou but another Korean-based player clearly worth inspection is 196 centimetre defender Aleksandar Jovanovic, who is starring with the overachieving Jeju United. Could he, Bailey Wright or Tomislav Mrcela bolt in at long odds?

Prediction: Jason Davidson, Luke Wilkshire, Ivan Franjic, Ryan McGowan, Trent Sainsbury, Matthew Spiranovic, Osama Malik, Curtis Good, Alex Wilkinson, Michael Zullo.

Midfielders
The strongest section of the squad, the midfield is a relatively settled unit, albeit with question marks over two of the most critical players. Bresciano’s lack of game time after his suspension might concern Postecoglou but so finely tuned are his passing skills that it would a bigger gamble to leave him out, especially when a training camp will help him blow out any cobwebs. Tom Rogic’s mercurial ability means he will make the extended squad but his adductor concerns have football fans on edge across the nation. Postecoglou has repeatedly flagged his interest in Swindon’s Massimo Luongo but playing third-tier football could count again him. More likely options are Oliver Bozanic, Adam Sarota and Dario Vidosic, all playing regularly in European leagues. One player surging into contention is Brisbane Roar’s Luke Brattan, a player nominated by Newcastle’s Joel Griffiths as a genuine chance. “He’s been outstanding for the Roar this year. I’m so impressed by what he’s done. He could play that role with his eyes closed,” he says. “Given he’s holding down central midfield in the best team in the league, he’s got to be a real chance.” Bleiberg likes another local option, Aaron Mooy. “I know his second half of the year wasn’t great but I think that’s because he was distracted,” Bleiberg says. “But he’d be the first player I’d sign if I was coaching in the A-League. He can pass, he makes the play, he can even defend. I’d definitely take him to Brazil.”

Prediction: Mile Jedinak, Mark Bresciano, Tommy Oar, Mark Milligan, Matt McKay, James Holland, Tom Rogic, Dario Vidosic, Oliver Bozanic, Adam Sarota.

Forwards
The only member of the golden generation still firing on all cylinders, Tim Cahill has proved himself ageless by staying on top of his game well into his 30s, replacing athletic prowess with an enhanced reading of the play. Josh Kennedy might not be Postecoglou’s prototype player but his aerial threat is so effective that, should the Socceroos require a late goal, his threat is undeniable. Mathew Leckie’s pace and instincts appear to have won him a travelling ticket in a season when he has become an assists king at FSV Frankfurt, while Ben Halloran’s rise at Fortuna Dusseldorf makes him the ideal choice to replace Kruse as an attacking right midfielder. Then comes the most mouth-watering selection discussion. Adam Taggart and James Troisi should both make this extended squad based on their A-League exploits but there may only be room for one in the final 23-man selection. “I’ve never seen a player who is so single-minded minded about scoring like Taggart. His goal sense is incredible,” Griffiths says. “He’s still only 20 but he’s already top quality and 16 goals in a year shows he’s good enough to win selection. Even if he misses out on this World Cup, he could very easily make the next one.” Western Sydney’s Tomi Juric offers razor-sharp finishing but fitness questions persist, which may count against him. “He’s the forward who I’m most excited about,” Bolton says. “He really could be anything.”

Prediction: Tim Cahill, Josh Kennedy, Mathew Leckie, Ben Halloran, Adam Taggart, James Troisi.

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald

 

Team of the Week | Round 19

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 11:25 AM

Team of the Week | Round 19

Goalkeeper

Mark Birighitti (Newcastle Jets)

Newcastle continued their excellent recent record against the Roar & Mark Birighitti can take a lot of the plaudits for the results. The Jets custodian thwarted the Roar at every opportunity, much to the bemusement of the home team. Brisbane launched 15 shots in the match, and of the five that were on target, Birighitti was always at the port of call. Birighitti kept a fourth clean sheet of the season in the win that has re-ignited their finals campaign.

Defenders

Osama Malik (Adelaide United)

Left wingers beware; Osama Malik is in a rich vein of form right now. The perennial nomad is putting a mortgage down on the right back position for the competition’s in form team. On a difficult pitch, Malik was an integral member both offensively and defensively. His ability on the ball is utilised to its potential under Josip Gombau’s possession based plan. With the recent injury to Rhys Williams, constant performances of this ilk mean a trip to Brazil may not be out of the cards.

Sasa Ognenovski (Sydney FC)

In his return match to the A-League, Ognenovski showed why he has been rated so highly, with a dominant performance, even though he gave away an indirect free-kick. Despite his side ceding possession for much of the contest, the Socceroo alongside Nikola Petkovic made sure Vedran Janjetovic was rarely threatened. One particular block in the second half from Nebojsa Marinkovic proved critical in the scheme of the contest.

Joshua Mitchell (Newcastle Jets)

The 29 year-old defender has had a tough year, although few would have guessed after the dominating display he put on against Brisbane. In only his fourth match of the season, Mitchell made 11 clearances and won 100% of aerial duals he contested. Mitchell was also proficient with the ball at his feet completed 82% of his passes for the day.

Michael Zullo (Adelaide United)

Despite being played further defensively this week, Zullo was industrious self, as he glided up and down the field. To this author, his playing style is similar to that of England’s Leighton Baines. Seemingly doing endless shuttle runs for 90 minutes, Zullo provides an extra number in attack for Adelaide. His three interceptions also showed that his doesn’t shirk any of his responsibilities at the less glamorous end of their field.

 

https://i0.wp.com/static.ffa.sportalhosting.com/site/_content/image/00043315-image.jpg

Midfielders

Marcelo Carrusca (Adelaide United)

The Argentinian is another Red to thrive under Josip Gombau and the tiki-taka football the club is trying to produce. Given licence to roam forward, Carrusca opened the scoring at Coopers Stadium with an assured finish. It was one of three clear chances he had to score, not bad for a midfielder.

Terry Antonis (Sydney FC)

Making his first start of the season following recovery from a potentially career ending injury, Antonis bossed the midfield battle from the base of the Sydney diamond. Whilst he will quite rightly get plaudits for his stunning match winner, his defensive work will most please the Sydney coaching staff. 5 tackles, three clearances and 100% success from aerial duels are all impressive figures.

Orlando Engelaar (Melbourne Heart)

Like Antonis, injury has ruined Englelaar’s season. Returning from suspension, the former Dutch international provided his most complete performance, scoring a goal and providing an assist in the Heart’s romp over Wellington. Engelaar demanded the ball constantly, with team-mates finding him on 84 occasions. His goal was venomous, as he thundered a reaping shot past Glen Moss. Showing his full array of weapons, the giant then showed terrific finesse to find David Williams for the strikers first goal.

Ali Abbas (Sydney FC)

The tenacious Iraqi has been Sydney’s best player this season without a shadow of a doubt. Reverting to his preferred left midfield role, Abbas gave Josh Risdon a torrid time. In collaboration with Matt Jurman, Abbas constantly provided attacking thrust down the flank. He would constantly cut inside Risdon with ease to provide a goal scoring threat. He provided the final pass to three shots on target and only misplaced one pass on a night where mistakes were all to frequent.

Strikers

Fabio Ferreira (Adelaide United)

The energetic character is starting to show why he was once on the books of Chelsea as a youngster. In the past he has been accused of being an enigma, but recently his performances have consistent for the whole of the match. Floating, Ferreira found himself spending time on the right flanks and centrally. His goal was the end of a swift counter-attack that could easily feature on any highlights reel.

David Williams (Melbourne Heart)

Simply outstanding. After proving a capable super-sub over previous weeks, Williams was back in the starting team with a bang, scoring a career defining hat-trick. Each goal was a thing of beauty, and worthy of any league in the world. The richly talented front-man seems hell-bent on securing finals football with the Heart, having 8 shots on goal during the match, as well as completing 80% of his 45 passes during the match.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Zullo defends Adelaide’s style

Thursday, 28 November 2013 5:23 PM

Zullo defends Adelaide's style

Adelaide United defender Michael Zullo said the club’s style of football is simply mirroring the trend of most teams worldwide.

United and Brisbane Roar have been heralded as teams that have put strong emphasis on passing, possession-based football – with the Roar taking their game to two titles, while the Reds have begun to up the ante on their game style this season under new coach Josep Gombau.

The former FC Utrecht man said their style could help revolutionise football in Australia.

“For me, it’s not that hard because it’s how I’ve been playing overseas, it’s very similar sort of set-up to Dutch football,” said Zullo when asked about adjusting to Gombau’s style.

“It can be a bit of a big adjustment at first, but when you have the players that can play the system, which we do… it’s not that much of an adjustment.

“In world football terms, it’s the way forward.

“It’s the way most of the world are playing now, apart from the British nations.

“Everyone’s trying to play this kind of football, so if we can get that going in Australia, I feel as though it is the way forward, it’s the way that our country can develop as a football nation.”

Adelaide have not made their game plan work just yet, as they sit eighth on the table while Roar are flying high in first place.

But Zullo said the table was not a fair indicator of who played the more exciting football.

“I feel like people rave about Brisbane Roar and how they play, but at the same time, they play very similar to the way we play,” the Socceroo of 10 caps said.

“They’re just not giving away games like we are at the moment. And at the other end of the field, they’re putting away their chances.”

Zullo said the Reds will be aiming to eliminate their ‘crucial little errors’ that have cost them so far this campaign, when they travel to take on the Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park on Sunday.

“That’s something you don’t want, but I don’t think any of us go into a game thinking ‘What’s going to happen if we lose?'” said Zullo when asked if they feared losing to the winless Heart.

“We’re just going in believing in ourselves, because I do feel like we’re good enough, we have the players to win games and be very competitive in this league.

“I don’t feel where we are on the table at the moment justifies the way we’ve been playing.”

Football Federation Australia