Signing news: Grand Final hero Milos Ninkovic re-signs with Sydney FC

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Monday, 8 May 2017

In a huge coup for Hyundai A-League Champions Sydney FC, Johnny Warren Medalist Milos Ninkovic has re-signed with the club for another season.

Just two days after the Sky Blues clinched the Hyundai A-League Championship for a record-equalling third time, the Serbian has put pen to paper on a one-year international marquee deal.
“Sydney FC has undoubtedly raised the bar with our record-breaking season and we want to continue to set the benchmark,” Chairman Scott Barlow said.

“Milos Ninkovic has had a fantastic season and is a key player in the success we have achieved at Sydney FC.

“We want to build a legacy in football in this country and by keeping our very best players we are taking a huge step towards that aim.”

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Coach Graham Arnold says the re-signing will help Sydney FC remain dominant in the Hyundai A-League.

“Milos has proven to be a class above this season and his understanding with the rest of our strike force will only continue to flourish,” he said.

“It is a huge tribute to Sydney FC, our staff and the culture we have at the club, that after such a fabulous season, he has agreed to come back for another year.

“It is an exciting time to be a Sydney FC supporter with the AFC Champions League coming up and a chance to further assert our command on Australian football.”

Ninkovic, the Hyundai A-League’s best player and Johnny Warren medallist, said he was delighted to be staying with the Sky Blues for a third season.

“I love this club, I love this city, I love my team-mates and I love our wonderful members,” he said.

“This season has been the most special of my career and long may it continue.

“We have a fantastic squad and we want to stay together and continue to create history.”

Ninkovic scored the match wining penalty in Sunday’s Hyundai A-League decider and will return home to Serbia this week before coming back to Sydney for pre-season training in July.

Milos Ninkovic

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC Milos Ninkovic star hints at staying with champions

Milos Ninkovic celebrates after scoring the decisive penalty in Sydney FC's Grand Final triumph.

Milos Ninkovic celebrates after scoring the decisive penalty in Sydney FC’s Grand Final triumph.

Johnny Warren Medal winner Milos Ninkovic confirmed his interest in staying at Sydney FC after helping the Sky Blues do the double in Sunday’s epic Grand Final victory.

The 32-year-old Serbian star dispatched the winning penalty against Melbourne Victory to cap a dream individual and team season.

 

Speaking amid the Allianz Stadium celebrations, Ninkovic hinted at the likelihood of extending his contract.

 

Milos Ninkovic.“I like these guys too much and I would like to see this team in the [AFC] Champions League next year,” Ninkovic told Fox Sports.

“I like these guys, I like the fans, I like the club.

“I can’t promise you anything but probably I will stay.”

Ninkovic also revealed he’ll miss Sydney FC’s friendly with Liverpool later this month due to family reasons.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Can Carl Valeri nullify Milos Ninkovic? Yes, but…

Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri fights for the ball with Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic.
Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri fights for the ball with Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic.
Hyundai A-League Grand Finals can be decided by moments of magic. They can provide the platform for special players.

Therefore, releasing – and containing – those players becomes a major focus for the respective coaches.

Naturally, much of the pre-game spotlight will fall on the goalscorers.

Can Besart Berisha take his grand final goals tally to nine or will it be the Brazilian Bobo’s night to shine?

Besart Berisha; Bobo 620x349

And can the members of their support casts in the front third – Rojas, Troisi, Holosko and Brosque – make a telling impact in the season’s defining game?

But while the marksmen are no doubt important, the key clash in Sunday’s grand final might well happen a bit further back.

CARL VALERI v MILOS NINKOVIC

In the wash-up after Sunday’s blockbuster Big Blue, the victor of this battle within the war may well have a winner’s medal around his neck.

It’s that crucial.

Ninkovic has been Sydney FC’s main attacking supply line this season, providing 11 assists and netting nine goals.

He was a worthy and widely-tipped winner of the Johnny Warren Medal on Monday night.

There’s no doubt that if you can stop Ninkovic, you go a long way to blunting Sydney FC.

The problem is, no-one has really managed it!

But in their skipper Carl Valeri, Victory might just have the man for the job.

Twelve years in Italy and over 50 caps for the Socceroos have given him plenty of experience against top-class players.

Milos Ninkovic and Carl Valeri.

He has been a talismanic leader for his side this season, starting 26 of their 28 games and never being substituted.

His stats for tackles, interceptions, aerial duels and blocks are all impressive.

His role is often to pick up the opposition’s key playmaker.

And it’ll never be more crucial for him to do that than on Sunday night.

TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE

But Valeri can’t do the job alone.

Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold employed an extremely effective 2 v 1 approach against Diego Castro last week.

Whenever Perth’s super-Spaniard got the ball, he was immediately set upon by two Sydney players.

Castro’s effectiveness was reduced and he drifted onto the fringes of the game on a pitch that also worked against his genius.

Kevin Muscat can learn plenty from that in his side’s quest to shackle Ninkovic.

Melbourne Victory stalwart Leigh Broxham is bracing himself for a tough challenge against the in-form Wanderers on Saturday night.

While Valeri will be the man charged with picking him up most often, he should always have assistance from his nearest team-mate.

That might be one of the fullbacks, midfield partner Leigh Broxham, or even a retreating attacker.

It doesn’t really matter who it is, as long as it’s someone.

YOU JUST CAN’T RELAX

However, Ninkovic has become used to working in tight spaces.

Recognising his obvious threat, other clubs have doubled-teamed him this season without ever really completely nullifying him.

And it might take just one moment of magic to break the grand final wide open.

On a shifting surface, Ninkovic can wriggle free and burst forward or produce a sublime pass to an attacker.

And without the ball, he’s one of the hardest workers in the Sky Blues squad; he’s actually made more tackles than Valeri himself!

IT’S NOT JUST NINKO

And while Ninkovic has been Sydney FC’s standout player, they’re anything but a one-man team.

Unsung heroes Josh Brillante and Brandon O’Neill have allowed the Serbian the freedom to exploit space in midfield by patrolling the areas behind him.

And the bullets supplied by “Ninko” have been eagerly fired home by the likes of Bobo, Brosque and Holosko.

Even if Valeri can significantly – or even partially – contain Ninkovic, the Victory defence can’t switch off for a second with such dangerous attackers sniffing around.

 

Sydney FC will play Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Grand Final.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory : 8 key grand final stats

Melbourne Victory winger Marco Rojas and Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

Melbourne Victory winger Marco Rojas and Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

The Hyundai A-League grand final will feature a clash of the assist-kings.

Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic and Victory star Marco Rojas have each laid on 11 goals for their team-mates this season, three more than any other player in the competition.

Check out these and other Opta stats ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster Big Blue.

 

· Sydney FC have won their last three games against Victory; at no point in the 41-game history between these sides has either team won four consecutive games.

· Melbourne Victory are undefeated against Sydney FC in five finals clashes, including a 3-0 win when these teams met in the 2015 grand final; that was only time either side has kept a post-season clean sheet against the other.

 

Archie Thompson is tipping Besart Berisha to notch his 100th Hyundai A-League goal against Sydney FC this weekend.· Sydney FC will be looking to make it the fourth consecutive A-League season where the Premiers have gone on to win the Grand Final, a scenario which has played out in seven of the 11 A-League seasons.

· Melbourne Victory have won just one of their seven away finals games and have lost their last four such fixtures, scoring just one goal in those four games.

· Sydney FC have kept 17 clean sheets this season, eight more than any other team, though only two of the last seven Hyundai A-League Grand Finals have seen either side keep a clean sheet.

 

Keeper: Danny Vukovic (Sydney FC)· Melbourne Victory have scored 13 goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season, more than any other team.

· No player has contested more duels than Sydney FC striker Bobô this season; his 408 gives him a seven-duel lead over next-best, Victory attacker James Troisi.

 

Sydney FC will play Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Grand Final. 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic claims Johnny Warren Medal

Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic has been named the Johnny Warren Medalist for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic has been named the Johnny Warren Medalist for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

Milos Ninkovic from Sydney FC capped off a tremendous season by claiming the Johnny Warren Medal at the gala Dolan Warren Awards, which was held at The Star Event Centre in Sydney on Monday night.

Samantha Kerr from Perth Glory took out the Julie Dolan Medal, the Westfield W-League’s highest honour.

Sam Kerr.Ninkovic received 44 points from a panel that included former professional players, coaching experts, match officials and media representatives. He was followed by Diego Castro (Perth Glory – 37 points), Nicolás Martínez (Western Sydney Wanderers FC – 29 points), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory – 27 points) and Kosta Barbarouses (Wellington Phoenix – 22 points).

Kerr received 23 points and was followed by Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar FC – 21 points), Sofia Huerta (Adelaide United – 17 points), Natasha Dowie (Melbourne Victory – 13 points),Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United – 11 points) and Megan Oyster (Newcastle Jets – 11 points).

Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar FC) was named the Hyundai A-League NAB Young Footballer of the Year for the second time and Remy Siemsen (Sydney FC) was the winner of the Westfield W-League NAB Young Footballer of the Year Award. Both Maclaren and Siemsen will receive a $10,000 NAB personal investment portfolio, along with a NAB Private Client Manager to assist with a range of banking and financial services.

Jamie Maclaren celebrates after scoring against the Wanderers.

Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold received the Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year Award and Bobby Despotovski from Perth Glory was named the Westfield W-League Coach of the Year, as voted for by their peers.

Melbourne Victory’s Besart Berisha and Brisbane Roar FC’s Jamie Maclaren were the joint winners of the Nike Golden Boot Award as the top goal scorers for the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season with 19 goals apiece. Canberra United’s Ashleigh Sykes took out the Westfield W-League 2016/17 Golden Boot Award courtesy of her 12 goals throughout the season while Pierce Waring from Melbourne Victory was the top goal scorer for the Foxtel National Youth League 2016/17 season with 6 goals.

Besart Berisha was the hero for Melbourne Victory in their semi final win over Brisbane Roar.Danny Vukovic from Sydney FC collected the Hyundai A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Award and Lydia Williams from Melbourne City FC received the Westfield W-League Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

Tim Cahill from Melbourne City FC scored the Hyundai A-League the Goal of the Year Award for his stunning 35m strike against Melbourne Victory in Round 2. Samantha Kerr from Perth Gloryscored the Westfield W-League 2016/17 Goal of the Year for her 18th minute strike against Sydney FC in Round 6.

Tim Cahill netted the decisive goal as Melbourne City downed Adelaide United 1-0 on Friday night.

Marc Tokich from FFA Centre of Excellence was named the Foxtel National Youth League Player of the Year.

The Central Coast Mariners won the Hyundai A-League Fair Play Award after accruing the least number of yellow and red card points whilst Adelaide United won the Westfield W-League Fair Play Award with the FFA Centre of Excellence claiming the Foxtel National Youth League Fair Play Award.

Mariners players celebrate a goal in their 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Sunday afternoon.In the referee awards, Jarred Gillett was named the Hyundai A-League Referee of the Year award with Kate Jacewicz collecting the Westfield W-League’s Referee of the Year, extending her record winning run to seven titles.

Melbourne Victory received the Community Champion Award in recognition for their community & corporate social responsibility programs and partnerships. The club’s “Our Game, Our Community” initiative encapsulates their suite of programs delivered in schools, clubs and a number of community events engaging well over 150,000 people and driving membership over 26,000. Melbourne Victory’s Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League players completed 568 community appearances totalling over 1200 hours adding value to community programs and inspiring the next generation of players throughout Victoria. Melbourne Victory has shown the way in the female space engaging 3,440 girls YTD, which is a 32% increase on the previous year. Through their charity partners, Cancer Council Victoria and The Starlight Foundation, Melbourne Victory has impacted the lives of the local community by creating awareness and raising funds to address the effect of all cancers for all Victorians and transforming the experiences of hospitalisation and treatment for seriously ill children and their families.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Milos Ninkovic’s grand final pledge to Corica

Ninkovic claims Johnny Warren Medal

Fresh from being crowned the Johnny Warren Medal winner, Sydney FC’s Milos Ninkovic has revealed there is one more personal milestone he would like to chalk up against Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s grand final.

The Serbian star has scored nine goals this season for the Sky Blues, one short of a pre-season pledge he made to the club’s assistant coach.

“I promised before the season to Steve Corica that I would score ten,” revealed Ninkovic.

“I need to score in the Grand Final,” he said.

And Corica knows all about scoring in grand finals, having slotted the winner in the inaugural Hyundai A-League Grand Final in 2006.

But it’s team first. That’s the message from “Ninko” ahead of Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Ninkovic capped a superb individual season by claiming the Johnny Warren Medal at the annual Dolan Warren Awards function in Sydney.

But the amiable Serbian would happily trade the honour for a winners’ medal on Sunday.

“I would like – if I [could] – to swap this award with a trophy in the Grand Final,” Ninkovic told reporters after receiving the night’s top prize.

“The Johnny Warren Medal is an award only for me and to win the Grand Final is an award for everyone.

“That will be the biggest trophy in my career,” he said.

Sydney FC will play Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Grand Final.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Diego Castro versus Milos Ninkovic in Sydney semi final

Diego Castro and Milos Ninkovic will be key figures in Saturday night's Semi Final.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Opta Data @OptaJason
One’s a majestic Spaniard who’s played in La Liga – and scored against Real Madrid. The other is a former World Cup player with Serbia who’s weaved his sublime magic all season.

And the pair are set to meet in a Hyundai A-League Semi Final this Saturday in Sydney.

The reigning Johnny Warren Medal winner Diego Castro brings his glorious magic to Sydney this Saturday to face the sublime Serbian Milos Ninkovic and his Sydney FC side when Sydney FC and Perth Glory lock horns in the Hyundai A-League Semi Final 1.

 

Milos Ninkovic celebrates after grabbing the opening goal in Sydney FC's clash with Newcastle Jets on Saturday night. Both men have played 26 matches this season so we can make a direct comparison between the two.

Who is more important to their side – the playmaker Serb or the roaming Spanish striker?

GOALS

Ninkovic has scored nine goals for the Sky Blues.

Castro’s goal against Melbourne City in the Elimination Final against Melbourne City took him to 13 for the season.

He’s the leading goalscorer for Perth Glory.

Perth Glory players celebrate Diego Castro's penalty in the clash with Adelaide United on Friday night.

But five of Castro’s goals have been penalties, meaning Ninkovic has been more prolific from open play.

SHOOTING

Castro has fired off more shots than Ninkovic with 49 to 36.

But Ninkovic has been more accurate, with 55.6% of his efforts hitting the target, compared to 44.9% of Castro’s.

PASSING

Ninkovic has made 1153 passes compared to Castro’s 964. But the Spaniard is more accurate, finding his target 79.3% of the time, compared to the Serbian’s 77.5%. Ninkovic has supplied 10 assists, while Castro has seven.

THREAT TO OPPOSITI

ON The tricky Spaniard has embarked on 71 successful dribbles this season, compared to just 39 by the Serbian.

Not surprisingly, each is heavily fouled as opposition teams often cross the line in order to suppress their threats.

Castro has won 78 free-kicks this season and Ninkovic 57.

CROSSING

Castro loves to cross the ball.

 

Striker: Diego Castro (Perth Glory)

He’s put in 70 crosses this season, compared to Ninkovic’s 17.

This is probably due to the freer role he has for Glory than Ninkovic has for Sydney FC.

AERIAL PROWESS

Castro has contested just seven aerial duels all season and won only one.

Despite being just six centimetres taller, Ninkovic has been far more vigorous in the air.

He has contested 47 aerial duels, winning 22 of them.

DEFENCE

Ninkovic has engaged in 50 tackles this season compared to Castro’s 40.

 

Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic holds off his Victory defender during the Big Blue at Etihad Stadium.

But Ninkovic is far more effective, emerging successful in 74% of those tackles, compared to 52% for Castro.

DISCIPLINE

Ninkovic has picked up five yellow cards while Castro has been booked four times.

And the Serb has given up 32 free-kicks compared to Castro’s 20.

SUMMARY

Both are desperate to win the Championship. To do so, they must win on Saturday or their seasons end.

 

It will be a cracking battle between Perth Glory playmaker Diego Castro and Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic.

Wherever you are, do not miss this game. You’ll see two of the greats  in the most cut-throat of games.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Hobbled Milos Ninkovic vows he’ll ready for semi

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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Sydney FC midfielder Milos Ninkovic has declared he’ll play in the Sky Blues Hyundai A-League semi-final despite picking up an injury against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.

Ninkovic was on the end of a heavy challenge from Ben Kantarovski late in the second half of the 2-0 win at Allianz Stadium.

The Serbian was immediately substituted and sought treatment, however he has allayed fears he’ll be absent from Sydney FC’s Semi Final.

“My ankle is good but it is still a little bit sore,” Ninkovic said.

“Everyday it’s getting better and better, we have a very good medical team and I will be ready for the semi final.

“I expect to play but we have a very good team, very good players and confidence is high, so it doesn’t matter who will play, we are the best team in the country and that’s it.

“Grand Final I will play without a leg if I need to play,” he continued.

“These next two days it’s important to keep ice and [Physiotherapist] Elias [Boukarim] will do everything with treatment and I already feel better than yesterday.”

 

1Ninkovic said he was disappointed to miss out on the Premiers Plate celebrations post match, but said it was an amazing achievement to take out the title in record breaking style in season 2016/17.

“I felt very bad [initially], I had pain in my ankle and straight after the game I couldn’t walk because of my ankle, but the next day it was much better,” he said.

“I was very angry because I couldn’t celebrate with my team mates. I was also angry because it was not a good tackle, 75 minutes and in our half, but this is football and you never know what can happen.

“It was a very good feeling winning the Premiership,” he continued.

“Before the season no one expected us to make history to win 66 points from a possible 81.

“It’s very huge and it’s a very big result for us but still we have two more important games and we want to win every game.”

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC 2-0 Newcastle Jets- Hyundai A-League 2016/2017

Sydney FC have celebrated their Hyundai A-League Premiership party in style after a 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Saturday night, although there could be an injury concern for star playmaker Milos Ninkovic.

Second half goals from Ninkovic and Alex Brosque proved the difference as the Sky Blues finally got their hands on the Premiers’ Plate after fulltime in front of almost 16,000 fans at Allianz Stadium.

Jets players provided a guard of honour for the Sydney FC players before the match and then put up a huge fight, especially in the first half.

While Alex Wilkinson went close for the Sky Blues with a header that hit the woodwork, the Jets wasted the best chance of the opening 45 minutes when Andrew Nabbout missed a penalty.

Sydney FC midfielder Josh Brillante looks to avoid the challenge of a Jets defender at Allianz Stadium.

Graham Arnold’s side then took control after the break, with Ninkovic scoring his ninth of the season before Brosque pounced late on to ensure the Sky Blues broke a host of Hyundai A-League records.

But they will be sweating on the fitness of the star Serbian who was forced off in the second half with a left leg problem ahead of their semi-final in a fortnight.

 

GOALS

1-0 Sydney FC: Milos Ninkovic 56’

Bobo started the move in the middle of the park, with Rhyan Grant then finding Filip Holosko who went around Lachlan Jackson before squaring the ball to Ninkovic who had the simple task of tapping the ball in from close range.

Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski puts in a wonderful tackle to stop Sydney FC playmaker Milos Ninkovic in his tracks.

2-0 Sydney FC: Alex Brosque 86’

Another flowing move with Brandon O’Neill’s cross flicked-on by David Carney, with Brosque at the far post to volley past Jack Duncan with an assured finish.

KEY MOMENT

Just before the break the Jets won a penalty when referee Shaun Evans ruled Rhyan Grant had brought down Andrew Hoole in the box. But Nabbout blazed his spot-kick wide of the mark to let the Sky Blues off the hook, with the home side making them pay after the break.

INJURY WARD

In a huge concern for the Sky Blues, Ninkovic limped off with 15 minutes left with a left leg problem following a heavy challenge from Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski.

CROWD

15,787 @ Allianz Stadium

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC 3 x 1 Wellington Phoenix – Hyundai A-League 2016/2017

Sydney FC’s unbeaten start to the season will extend into Round 20 after they put on a clinic in a 3-1 win over Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night.

Defender Rhyan Grant opened the scoring with a thumping header after just three minutes before turning provider as Bobo finished a majestically worked team goal midway through the opening half.

The Phoenix pulled a goal back before the break courtesy of a neat piece of trickery from Alex Rodriguez but hopes of a comeback were banished when Milos Ninkovic netted ten minutes after the interval.

Josh Brillante came close to scoring another goal of the season contender when he blasted a long range shot that Glen Moss touched onto the post in the first half, while Alex Brosque spurned a one-on-one chance after the break.

The result sees Graham Arnold’s side extend their lead at the top of the table to 12 points ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, while the Phoenix missed a chance to climb back into the top six.

GOALS

1-0 Sydney FC: Rhyan Grant, 3’

Brosque was played into space down the left flank, with the striker showing a great turn of speed before floating a cross to the back post where Grant was able to head strongly past Moss.

2-0 Sydney FC:  Bobo, 22’

Some intricate one-touch passing saw the Sky Blues go the length of the field, with Bobo delivering the ball out wide before heading home the return cross from Grant to register his eighth goal of the season.

2-1 Wellington Phoenix: Alex Rodriguez, 32’

The midfielder showed great awareness to get a flick on a Gui Finkler corner delivery at the front post, with Vukovic unable to react quickly enough to keep the ball from sneaking in.

3-1 Sydney FC: Milos Ninkovic, 54’

Brillante picked out the run of Ninkovic after a Phoenix turnover, with the Serbian threading a shot between the legs of Andrew Durante, past the outstretched Moss and inside the far post.

Re-live the match action on Twitter

@ALeague, @SydneyFC, @WgtnPhoenixFC, #SYDvWEL

Football Federation Australia