Sydney FC duo in EA Sports’ FUT Community TOTS

Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant and goalkeeper Danny Vukovic.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Staff writer
Sydney FC’s record-breaking season has been recognised with two of its players named in EA Sports’ FUT Community Team of the Season.

Caltex Socceroos duo Rhyan Grant and Danny Vukovic were both named in the squad after their superb performances in the Hyundai A-League this season.

 

The Community Team of the Season is made up of three squads (Gold, Silver and Bronze) and is entirely selected by the FIFA community and features players who have performed at a high level through the season without earning a Team of the Week in-form.

Vukovic was named in the ‘silver’ squad while Grant was selected in the bronze team.

Over the last month, the FIFA 17 Community posted in the forums to help decide the players that make up each squad.

Only those who had consistent seasons but were never selected to the weekly Team of the Week squad were eligible.

It’s just reward for two of Sydney’s most consistent performers over the campaign which saw both players earn call-ups to Ange Postecoglou’s Caltex Socceroos squad in March.

The accolade follows on from Besart Berisha’s ‘purple hero shield’ which he earned last month after becoming the first player in the Hyundai A-League to score 100 goals.

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC fans have a new cult hero in defender Jordy Buijs

Sydney FC fans have a new cult hero in defender Jordy Buijs.

Sydney FC fans have a new cult hero. The mo-hawked head and wholehearted commitment of Jordy Buijs has made him a fan favourite since his arrival at the club.

And now the Dutch defender has a Hyundai A-League championship medal.

“I try my best to be myself,” Buijs told www.a-league.com.au as he celebrated with his team-mates in the Sydney sunshine.

“When I start to play for a club, I need to have the connection to the club.

“When I feel that connection and the confidence of everyone involved with Sydney, my game play [gets] better and better.

“In the last few games I was growing as a player,” he said.
BERISHA BATTLE A ‘STREET FIGHT’

Buijs joined the Sky Blues in the January transfer window as a replacement for Matt Jurman.

He started 12 of Sydney FC’s last 13 games, playing a crucial role in their championship win.

Jordy Buijs

And his battle with perennial grand final goalscorer Besart Berisha was a fascinating layer to Sunday night’s season finale.

“I like the battles with him because he is a street-fighter like me,” smiled Buijs.

“We have good duels.

“He scored, which is good for him

“Next time we need to keep him closer,” he said.

 

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Long-serving CEO to depart Sydney FC

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Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Just days after their dramatic Hyundai A-League Grand Final win, Sydney FC have announced Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata will step down from his role after five years in the job.

Pignata joined the Sky Blues in June 2012 and has overseen a remarkable five years in which the club has doubled membership, increased attendance by more than 25% and tripled its turnover.

He’s been instrumental in securing long-term principal partner Webjet, bringing English Premier League giants Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool to these shores and helping to set up Sydney FC’s Academy.

One of Pignata’s most memorable achievements came when he flew to Italy in September 2012 to seal the contract of the Hyundai A-League’s biggest ever signing Alessandro Del Piero.

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“On behalf of myself and the Sydney FC board of directors, I’d like to thank Tony for his service over the last five years,” Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow said.

“He has done an excellent job in bringing stability and success to our club both on and off the field.

“On top of his list of achievements, Tony will be remembered for his enormous passion for Sydney FC and the game of football, and also for the fantastic rapport he has built with our supporters.

“I would like to wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

Pignata thanked Sydney FC’s coaches, players, staff and supporters in revealing his reasons for stepping down.

“I have had wonderful 5 years here at Sydney FC,” he said.

“I would like to thank David Traktovenko and chairman Scott Barlow for their support.

“To the board, staff, Graham and players it has been an amazing season and to cap it off with the double is the icing on the cake.

“I now look forward to my next adventure and will return home to Melbourne before taking a good break.”

Pignata’s final day will be Friday 2nd June.

 

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

7 factors behind Sydney FC’s incredible season

We look at the 7 factors behind Sydney FC's incredible season

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Jason Pine @pineyzb
Sydney FC have capped a quite sensational Hyundai A-League campaign by lifting the championship trophy. What were the major factors behind what’s being called the greatest season ever?

 

The numbers don’t lie

Statistics are just one way of assessing a season, but in Sydney FC’s case they have been stunning.

A record number of regular season wins, points, clean sheets and goals conceded are all numerical indications of a quite stunning campaign.

Across the 27 games of the 2016/17 season, the Sky Blues were head and shoulders – and as it transpired, 17 points – better than the rest.

Everyone stepped up

While Milos Ninkovic was the undoubted individual star of the Sky Blues, he was anything but a one-man band.

Every week, almost everyone played well.

Sydney FC teamIt was often difficult after a game to find a Sydney FC player who hadn’t made a telling contribution.
They found a way to get the job done

At half-time in the Grand Final, the destination of the championship trophy was hanging in the balance.

Melbourne Victory might even have been favoured at 1-0 up, having clearly rattled the Sky Blues.

But Sydney FC had faith in their systems and – for the third time this season – came back from 0-1 down against Victory to eventually prevail.

Even when Alex Wilkinson missed his spot-kick in the shoot-out, Sydney FC found a way.

Danny Vukovic’s save from Marco Rojas was decisive, before Ninkovic sealed the deal.

 

Danny VukovicThe same guys, week-in, week-out

Graham Arnold was largely able to pick the same team for the entire season.

Danny Vukovic, Alex Wilkinson, Rhyan Grant, Michael Zullo, Bobo, Filip Holosko, Alex Brosque, Brandon O’Neill, Josh Brillante and Milos Ninkovic played almost every week.

That’s ten players who started at least 26 of the side’s 29 games.

Consistency of selection like that is almost unheard of in professional sport and was certainly vastly superior to any other Hyundai A-League side.

 

Experience

The Sky Blues had – on average – the oldest starting eleven in the Hyundai A-League.

Players with big game know-how were able to draw on that experience throughout the season.

And younger players like Rhyan Grant and Brandon O’Neill obviously benefited from the ‘older’ heads around them.

Alex Wilkinson and Matt Simon celebrate following Sydney FC's Grand Final triumph over Melbourne Victory.

They broke new ground off the field

Graham Arnold has spoken at length about the mental work they’ve done with their players this season.

This included regular ‘refreshment sessions’ and work with an emotional intelligence coach to eliminate doubt and negativity.

Even Arnold himself employed a mentor to help enhance his leadership of the side.

 

As with all great teams, Sydney FC never rested on their laurels.

When the Premiers Plate was secured, they still wanted to keep winning.

And even now, coach Graham Arnold wants them to raise the bar again.

“I think we can go higher, I think we can get better,” he declared after the grand final win.

The rest of the league have been put on notice for next season.

 

 

Source : Football Federation Australia

Hyundai A-League 2017 Grand Final pre-match guide

Powerhouses Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory collide in a worthy climax to the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Staff Writer
Powerhouses Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory collide in a worthy climax to the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

Will the Sky Blues from Sydney complete their all-conquering campaign or can Melbourne Victory trip them up at the final hurdle and win a fourth Championship?

MATCH DETAILS

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Sunday 7 May
Allianz Stadium
Gates Open – 3.00pm (AEST)
Kick Off – 5.00pm (AEST)

PRECINCT ACTIVITIES

Fans are strongly encouraged to enjoy the hype of the Hyundai A-League 2017 Grand Final and arrive at the precinct early before the AFL finishes at around 3.40pm.

• Get your photo taken with the Hyundai A-League trophy
• See if you can ‘ Beat Bozza ‘ at the Hyundai Fan Van!
• Test your football skills out with Snooker feet
• Take home a photo of you and your mates in the photo booth
• Let the on-site DJ get you in the mood before the game
• Grab your NAB thundersticks and make some noise!
• Plus much, much more!

TRANSPORT TO AND FROM THE GAME

Allianz Stadium opens its gates at 3.00pm, with buses from Central running as early as 2.30pm to get fans there in time. Avoid the traffic delays by leaving the car at home and catching public transport – travel is included in match tickets .

Significant delays are expected in the area from 3.30pm due to the large crowd crossovers, so allow plenty of additional time getting into the precinct.

Click here for information on how to get to Allianz Stadium.

Don’t forget to join us tomorrow (Saturday 6 May) at the Hyundai A-League Grand Final Saturday Fan Day at the Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park.

Fans are strongly encouraged to enjoy the hype of the Hyundai A-League 2017 Grand Final and arrive at the precinct early before the AFL finishes at around 3.40pm.

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

 

Source : Football Federation Australia Website

Meet Sydney FC’s humble hero from 2010

Byun sung-Hwan was the hero for Sydney FC in the 2010 Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Michael Huguenin and Devora Kim
When discussing Sydney FC’s only Hyundai A-League premiership-championship double, names like Lavicka, Aloisi and Bridge will dominate, but the man who secured victory in the 2010 grand final against Victory has revealed how his career changed that day.

Byun Sung-hwan played 31 A-League matches in the 2009/10 season and while the South Korean was rarely in the spotlight, he dominated the headlines after the grand final thanks to his decisive penalty in the shootout.

As the current Sky Blues prepare for Sunday’s grand final where they will look to match the 2009/10 side by claiming the Premier’s Plate and Championship Byun reminisced with Goal about the highlight of his professional career.

Byun Sung Hwan.

 

SYDNEY SPECIAL TO SUNG-HWAN

The two A-League trophies were the only silverware Byun ever won as a player.

Byun.

“During my 13 years as a professional player, my time in Sydney is definitely on the top of the list,” he told Goal this week.

“I can say that it was a turning point for me to be part of the team winning a double title.”

Byun’s A-League story began in June 2009 after the former Ulsan, Busan I’Park and Jeju United full-back decided he wanted to play abroad before hanging up his boots.

“I had already been in K League for 10 years and I thought that this would be my last chance as a professional player to go overseas,” he said.

“During that time, I had the opportunity to choose between a team in the United States and Sydney FC and chose the latter.

“Right before that season a new manager was signed [Lavicka] and there was one position left for an import player and I was lucky enough to get in.”

REGULAR STARTER FOR VITYA’S SKY BLUES

Byun and goalkeeper Clint Bolton were the only two players to start all 27 rounds of the regular season plus Sydney’s four finals.

 

ByunMaking the left-back position his own, Byun was critical to Sydney finishing on top of the table with the best defensive record in the competition before the finals.

Sydney and Melbourne Victory traded blows throughout the campaign, with the Sky Blues beating the Big V 2-0 at home in the final round to secure the Premier’s Plate.

Victory hit back over the next two weeks, winning the two-legged major semi-final to earn hosting rights for the grand final, but Sydney recovered to beat Wellington Phoenix 4-2 in the preliminary final, setting up a rematch at Etihad Stadium.

The championship decider was tight contest – Bridge gave the visitors the lead just past the hour mark, while Adrian Leijer levelled with nine minutes remaining.

Extra time and a penalty shootout followed, and when Byun stepped up to take Sydney’s fifth penalty, the Sky Blues lead 3-2 and were on the verge of the club’s second championship.

MOMENT OF TRUTH

“It is definitely one of the most memorable moments of my entire career,” said Byun, who now works at Seongnam FC after retiring in 2014.

 

Byun Sung-Hwan“The head coach had given me the chance to decide when to kick and I chose to go last. It was a moment of truth.

“If I failed to score I would become the biggest villain of the team but if I succeeded I would become a hero. Thankfully I was able to score and be part of a historical moment for the club.”

Byun stayed with Sydney for one more season and then moved to Newcastle Jets in 2011/12 before returning to his homeland after 78 A-League appearances.

Stints at Seongnam and FC Anyang followed before he moved into coaching.

Just over seven years on from Byun’s moment of glory and Sydney have finally added another trophy to the cabinet thanks to Graham Arnold and Co. claiming the Premier’s Plate.

Victory will again play a key role as the Sky Blues aim for another A-League double when the two sides meet at Allianz Stadium on Sunday and Byun is wishing his ex-club all the best.

image: http://images.performgroup.com/di/library/A-League/2e/bc/sydney-fc-players-celebrate-with-the-fans_10nulkhhvxg0i1qyn6ts3s5qgv.jpg?t=-1179518317

Sydney FC players celebrate with the fans“I’ve been constantly following the A-League and monitoring the results. I find it interesting to see how the league I have been part of develops and grows,” he said.

“I have been following Sydney and honestly believe that they have a high chance to win. I will cheer for them.”

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

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC ‘vulnerable’ claims Melbourne Victory attacker James Troisi

Victory playmaker James Troisi denies Sydney FC's defence is impenetrable ahead of Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Michael Huguenin
Sydney FC’s defence has set all kinds of records this season but Melbourne Victory attacking midfielder James Troisi insists the Sky Blues are “vulnerable” ahead of the Hyundai A-League grand final.

With Danny Vukovic shining between the posts and a consistently solid back four in front of him, Sydney conceded just 12 goals in the 27-round regular season, while their clean sheet against Perth Glory in the semi-finals was an unprecedented 17th.

In three previous meetings this term, Sydney have beaten Victory 2-1, 2-1 and 1-0 but Troisi insists his team showed enough in those games to indicate they will threaten the premiers at Allianz Stadium on Sunday.
TROISI TALKS UP VICTORY’S CHANCES

“I don’t think it’s impenetrable,” Troisi said on Wednesday, when asked how Victory can break down Sydney’s defence.

“If you look at all our games [against Sydney], we had quite a lot of opportunities. Especially the last game we played them, we just couldn’t take those opportunities.

“So they are vulnerable and obviously we want to be switched on defensively.

Sydney have faced an average of 8.54 shots per game this season, with 3.1 on target.

James Troisi celebrates scoring Victory's fourth goal against Perth on Saturday night.In Victory’s most recent loss to Sydney in March, Troisi and Co. managed just six shots and only two were on target.

But in the other two defeats in January and November, Victory opened the scoring and produced an above-average number of shots against the Sky Blues, although they only surpassed the on-target average in the Big Blue on Australia Day at Etihad Stadium.

Troisi scored the opener in January but goals to Filip Holosko and Bernie Ibini saw Sydney triumph.
VICTORY RULE SHOT CONVERSION

Victory have the best shot conversion in the competition in 2016/17 with 18.9 per cent of their shots ending in goals, while Sydney (17.4%) are third in that statistic.

Sydney are generally more accurate than Kevin Muscat’s men, however, with the Sky Blues testing the opposition goalkeeper 49.1 per cent of the time – behind only Wellington Phoenix (51%).

Victory (46%) are seventh in the A-League for shot accuracy.

Victory striker Besart Berisha found the net in his side's 2-1 win over Melbourne City.

“I think that was one of the most impressive things about the Brisbane game,” added the recently recalled Caltex Socceroo.

“Defensively we were fantastic and they didn’t really cause use much trouble.

“With our attacking line and with the support of our defence and our midfield, we’re definitely going to create chances.

“So it’s going to be a good game.”

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

Source : Football Federation Australia

Sydney FC’s psychological edge?

Sydney FC are drawing on their Big Blue dominance ahead of Sunday's Hyundai A-League showpiece in the Harbour City.

Sydney FC are drawing on their Big Blue dominance ahead of Sunday’s Hyundai A-League showpiece in the Harbour City.

They say grand finals are one-off occasions, but Sydney FC are drawing on their Big Blue dominance ahead of Sunday’s Hyundai A-League showpiece in the Harbour City.

The Sky Blues have beaten Melbourne Victory in all three of their meetings this season.

 

And Sydney FC defender Alex Wilkinson believes that will be a factor come Sunday.

“They’re [Victory] going to say it’s a one-off game but of course we’re going to take a lot of confidence from beating them three times,” the Caltex Socceroos defender told reporters ahead of the showdown.

“You can say that the season doesn’t matter but we’ve got a fantastic record at home.

“Defensively, we’ve conceded very few goals at home which is going to give us confidence going into the game.

“We’re going to have a huge crowd there as well, so all those little things are going to work in our favour.

“Obviously they’re going to have to come up here and beat us on our own patch, which no-one has done yet.

“We’re going to go in very confident,” he added.

WONDERFUL SEASON FOR WILKO

It’ll be Wilkinson’s fourth grand final, having been on losing Mariners sides in 2005/06, 2007/08 and 2010/11.

Following stints in China and South Korea, he returned to the A-League with Melbourne City last season before a move to the Sky Blues this season.

It couldn’t have gone much better for the vastly experienced central defender.

“It’s been a great year – I’ve really enjoyed myself,” he said.

Alex Wilkinson“Coming back here to Sydney, my home-town, I couldn’t have dreamt of a better first season here.

“I just want to cap it off now with one more win,” said Wilkinson.

BERISHA THREAT?

Wilkinson refused to be drawn into talk of the danger of three-time championship winning Victory striker Besart Berisha.

“[He’s] no more worry than anyone else,” shrugged Wilkinson.

“We’re not going to focus on them too much – it’s about us.

“That’s what it’s been like all year.

“You give the opposition respect and you do the video and the analysis, which the coaches will do and work out their strengths and weaknesses and how we can exploit them or what we need to watch out for.

“But every game is more about what we do and how we’re going to do things when we have the ball or don’t have the ball.

“This week will be no different.

“It’s worked every week so far this season, so we’re not going to change anything now,” he declared.

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

Source : Football Federation Australia

Hyundai Ins & Outs – Grand Final

Which team will be crowned champion when Sydney FC hosts Melbourne Victory in Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final?

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Staff writer
Which team will be crowned champion when Sydney FC hosts Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final? See the squads for both teams right here.

Hyundai A-League 2017 Grand Final – Ins and Outs

Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 5:00pm (AEST)

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Cream

Fourth Official: Peter Green

Fifth Official: Owen Goldrick

Video Assistant Referee: Strebre Delovski

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 4.00pm (AEST) and delayed coverage on SBS VICELAND from 5.30pm AEST

Radio Broadcast: ABC News (on Radio), ABC Digital Extra, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), 1116 SEN (Melbourne), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)

Seb Ryall and Fahid Ben Khalfallah fight for the ball during the Big Blue.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ALeagueGF

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Seb RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted), 22.Seb RYALL (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 19.George HOWARD (promoted), 22.Stefan NIGRO (promoted)

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

Unavailable: Nil

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

Source : Football Federation Australia