Fiasco Sports continues to preview A-league teams as the season approaches and next up is Sydney FC.
2012/13 was a season filled with highs and lows for Sky Blues fans.
It was always going to be a turbulent season for Sydney after manager Ian Crook tendered his resignation after just six matches.
The Englishman told media that the pressure of managing such a high profile club was beginning to impact on his health after a poor start which saw the club lose four matches.
Results such as the 7-2 thumping to the Central Coast Mariners and a heartbreaking home loss to bitter rival Melbourne Victory were the last straw for Crook.
The club then appointed former Roar and Socceroos boss Frank Farina to the helm.
Farina wasted no time, immediately improving results and only narrowly missing out on a finals finish due to goal difference.
The biggest positive for Sydney last season was the phenomenal success of star marquee signing and Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero.
The former Juventus striker finished as Sydney’s top scorer with 11 goals and single handedly pushed the club’s home attendances through the roof.
What will excite Sydney fans this season is no doubt the list of signings Frank Farina has made.
One of those is former Melbourne Heart and Hull City player Richard Garcia.
The Socceroo winger was a stand-out for the Heart last season, scoring 6 goals in 24 games.
Another star signing is fierce defender Pedj Bojic from the Central Coast Mariners.
Bojic, who made 123 appearances in his time with the Mariners, was a part of Graham Arnold’s successful Grand Final team and was a fan favourite Bluetongue Stadium.
Farina has also retained Nick Carle from Baniyas in the UAE after the player’s loan with the club expired.
Carle left the Newcastle Jets in 2007 after a breakthrough season with the club saw him transfer to Turkish team Genclerbirligi.
He has since played for the Socceroos on numerous occasions and has shifted his club career from continent to continent.
Arguably, Farina’s most notable signing during this off-season has been that of Serbian defender Nikola Petkovic.
Farina has also signed Corey Gameiro from Fulham in England, along with Matt Jurman from the Roar and Marc Warren from Airdrie United in Scotland.
Petkovic was formerly at Serbian giant Red Star Belgrade and is a former Serbia U/21 international.
The Serb is a crucial signing for Farina, as his defensive experience will surely benefit a side which conceded more goals than any other team last season – 51 in total.
Farina however has lost a number of players which he will have to ensure his squad recovers from.
Joel Griffiths, Kruno Lovrek and Fabio Alves headline that list.
A major concern for Farina as the season nears is the poor pre-season Sydney have had.
The side has travelled enormously during their pre-season, becoming the first A-league side in history to play a game on European soil after a relatively successful tour of Italy.
However, back at home, Sydney have lost in recent friendlies to Wellington Phoenix, St George, Newcastle Jets, Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory.
For Sydney to qualify for the finals this season they will need to hope that marksman Del Piero stays fit, because despite Farina’s array of new signings, he is still without question the spine of Sydney’s attack.
Sydney must also improve its horrid lack of consistency as well as ensuring points are not lost at the Sydney Football Stadium.
Sydney will host the opening game of the A-league season against the Newcastle Jets tonight.
Richard Garcia (Heart), Corey Gameiro (Fulham), Pedj Bojic (Mariners), Matt Jurman (Brisbane), Nick Carle (Bani Yas, UAE – loan expired), Marc Warren (Airdrie Utd, SCO), Nikola Petkovic (Red Star Belgrade)
Joel Griffiths (Qingdao Jonoon, CHI), Kruno Lovrek, Fabio, Nathan Sherlock, Adam Griffiths, Paul Reid, Trent McClenahan (all released)
Fiasco Sports predictor: Top 6 finish
Written by Ellis Gelios