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FourFourTwo - A-League
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Adelaide United The Reds continue with Kappa for this season and their traditional red home kit, but will be wearing either their new black or blue kits when playing away from home. Adelaide have sported a black away kit in the past, but the 'cobait blue' third kit is the first time the South Australian club have worn an all-blue kit. Pic: Adelaide UnitedBrisbane Roar John Aloisi's men will be wearing Umbro kits once again in 2015-16, but have a new shirt sponsor in Steadfast. The club will be wearing an all-white away kit, while the third kit is a 'gun-metal grey' which features two slightly darker stripes down the front. Class. Pic: Brisbane RoarCentral Coast Mariners The lads from Gosford have gone for something a bit different this season. The Mariners will be wearing a palm tree on the front of all their kits season. It's a bold move, but we're not too sure about the reasons for the kits in the PR release. "...the new playing kit identifies commitment to the Central Coast while matching the entertaining and innovative mantra with a bright recognisable kit." Right... Pic: Central Coast MarinersMelbourne City City's kits look very similar to last season but with only minor subtle changes. The home kit features a central nike logo, while the away has thicket red and white stripes and a centralised nike logo as well. Pic: Melbourne CityMelbourne Victory The reigning A-League champions have gone for something very different this season. The chevron across the chest has been moved lower, while also being reduced 50 per cent in width. For the first time since season one of the A-League, the typical Victory chevron has been removed from the away kit, with the club adopting an off-centre 'v' instead. The kit also pays tribute to the club's home ground - AAMI Park. Pic: Melbourne VictoryNewcastle Jets The Newcastle Jets have unveiled their new kits and have moved away from the vertical stripes and gone for a predominately blue kit. The away kit is a basic white with blue and red trims, with the Jets also announcing a gold third kit to commemorate the club's original colours. Perth Glory The Glory unveiled their updated Macros home kit, which commemorates the club's 20th anniversary. However, it's the same away kit for 2015/16. Sydney FC The Sky Blues released their new Puma kits over a month and a half ago, going with a more simple design that previous seasons when they were with Adidas. The worst logo in world football, WebJet, remains the shirt sponsor but the kit now has a full navy collar instead of a very Victory like chevron on the front. Sydney's away kit goes from a black kit in previous seasons to a white shirt with sky blue sleeves and shorts. Pic: Sydney FCWellington Phoenix The Kiwi's released their new kits on Friday and it was a big hit with the fans. Phoenix have gone with a more 'Brazil yellow' on the home kit, with two very thin black stripers. Wellngton's away kit is all black with a yellow cross under the logo. What we love most is the font used for the name and numbers as well as the Carlsberg sponsorship on the back. Not bad, Adidas. Western Sydney Wanderers Western Sydney Wanderers have released their new Nike kits for the 2015/16 A-League season, with a gold star above the club’s logo to acknowledge their 2014 AFC Champions League triumph. Other changes in the kits include wider hoops and the Nike logo moving to the centre of the shirt.
City travel to face Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night, with 39-year-old Sorensen battling Tando Velaphi to be van ‘t Schip’s preferred choice. Velaphi has been solid in pre-season for City, including a clean sheet and some great saves in last week’s FFA Cup win over Heidelberg United. Meanwhile, the veteran shot-stopper only landed in Melbourne last month and has been playing catch-up. “Thomas is (up for it) and Tando is up for it as well,” van ‘t Schip toldFourFourTwo. “It’s a big competition and that’s what we want. “We want competition for every position and that players have to challenge each other and make it difficult for the coaching staff to make a decision on who’s going to play. “That’s the same with the goalkeepers. Tando had a great game against Heidelberg. He’s having a good pre-season. “Thomas, we all know, is very experienced, he’s got more than 100 internationals for his country Denmark. “In the dressing room he’s very impressive and a good leader. We’re happy that we have him in. “Thomas along with a lot of the other players that came to our club give us that different kind of energy and a more winning mentality.” The former Sunderland and Aston Villa custodian, who has penned a two-year deal at City, has made only a dozen appearances in the past three seasons. He was expected to retire at the conclusion of last term after his release from Stoke City and actually spent the off-season cycling across the United States for charity. Van‘t Schip conceded Sorensen was “rusty” initially upon his arrival but is on the right track after a few weeks' training. “He’s needed a bit of time to get back into his goalkeeper training, so he was a bit rusty in the beginning,” the Dutchman said. “Looking at him now, he’s coped very well with the training load, with the sessions. “He knows the way we want to play, he knows the players. He understands the characters in the side. He’s more than good physically and also mentally now. “Now it’s up to him to make the next step and battle with Tando for the number one position.” Pic credit: LIVE PIXEL
The Sky Blues host Melbourne City at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night in Round One, with Arnold pleased to have a full squad to chose from. Ex-Serbia international midfielder Ninkovic, 30, and 31-year-old Slovakia striker Holosko arrived in Sydney two months ago and have settled well. The latter is Sydney’s marquee signing, replacing Austrian hitman Marc Janko, while Ninkovic comes with pedigree and will wear the number 10 shirt. “Both have looked good in training and in our pre-season games and are adapting well,” Arnold told FourFourTwo. “Holosko has been excellent, scoring three from three in his first three games of pre-season and now has his family here with him so is very comfortable.” There’s been debate about where Arnold will deploy his new recruits, but the Sydney coach preferred to keep his cards close to his chest. “What I’ve tried to do is recruit adaptable players who can play in various positions and roles so every week that can change,” Arnold said. Arnold said Ninkovic’s transition into life in Sydney has been aided by the presence of countryman Milos Dimitrijevic. Sydney rounded out their pre-season with a 4-0 win over Hakoah in a behind-closed-doors friendly on Friday night. Shane Smeltz scored a double, while Alex Brosque and Sebastian Ryall also found the back of the net. Sydney’s attention is now firmly on Round One and John van't Schip's City on Saturday night. “We are feeling good,” Arnold said. “We have 24 match fit players who have all had plenty of minutes over the last five weeks of a long pre-season. “We played our final game of pre-season on Friday night and won that 4-0 at Allianz Stadium in a dress rehearsal for next week. “I go into week one with a lot of selection headaches.”
Leijer joined Victory in its inaugural season and made more than 160 appearances in-between a stint in England. Despite having the second most appearances for Victory, the centre-back has only lifted one out of the three premierships and championships the club has to its name. In February this year he made a somewhat surprising switch to China, joining Super League club Chongqing Lifan on a two-year deal. Leijer then missed Victory’s capture of the 2014/2015 A-League Premiership and Grand Final double. The 29-year old says that was leaving Victory for China was not a simple choice. “It was the most difficult decision I’ve made in my life,” Leijer told FourFourTwo. “I’d always said no to China but I was presented with an opportunity which, I’ve got a little girl now, and suppose I put her at the forefront of my thinking. I knew the club was on the brink of some huge success again. “I spoke to a lot of people in a short space of time about what to do and in the end it was, my daughter probably influenced the decision the most out of anyone. It was an opportunity to suppose try and help secure her future. “I left with a heavy heart but I love Melbourne Victory and I was happy as anyone to see them lift the trophy last year.” Leijer said he was “over the moon” for the Victorian side to claim the double. “I sat there and watched it, my Argentinian teammate came over and watched it with me, my family was there,” he said. “I was quite emotional, especially when I saw Muskie get emotional. I’ve got a huge passion for that club, I grew up with that club, I joined as a 19-year old and left as a 29-year old. “I was happiest for the people who’ve been through the good and bad times. To see the team finally lift that trophy after we’d been pretty close after the past few years was pretty nice.” Leijer has made 22 appearances in the Chinese Super League, scoring one goal and setting up another. The defender’s club Chongqing Lifan, which was promoted back to the top flight last year, is currently in 10th place in the 16-team competition. “We’re not a massive club by any means,” Leijer said. “The aim this season is to stay in the top division. We’re going OK and that’s still the goal. There’s a lot of differences coming from the best resourced club in Australia, as you can imagine Chinese football is quite different. “It’s been an adjustment. But when I made the decision I knew that things wouldn’t be easy. I think I’m adapting quite well. Hopefully we can finish the season off well and make sure we stay in the top league.” The former Socceroo, Olyroo, Young Socceroo and Joey is one of a number of Australians now playing in China. Tim Cahill and Matt Spiranovic are two of the other five Aussies who are also plying their trade in the Asian country. “It’s obviously a huge change,” Leijer said. “Everything’s completely different from your football to your life, just everything. Culturally it’s been a fantastic experience and the football has been a new challenge for me. “To survive in China you need to go with an open mind and embrace the culture, you need to try and understand them as people and the way they play their football. “It’s a very different style [football], I’ve come across some very good foreign strikers. It certainly makes for an interesting life.” Leijer’s contract with Chonqqing Lifan finishes next year and the centre-back said he is keeping his mind open about his next move. “Last year I would have never thought I would have ended up in China and I suppose it just shows how football can evolve somehow,” he said. “I set out for a two-year deal and I’ll see how that goes. Come to the end of my time in China and I’ll explore my options then.”
Glory launch their A-League campaign on Saturday week away to Central Coast, having reached the FFA Cup semi-finals on Tuesday with a penalty shootout win over Western Sydney Wanderers. Lowe has had to endure a major turnover of players in the off-season following the salary cap scandal which rocked the club last term, seeing them booted from the finals after a third place finish. The Glory coach has brought in a number of new faces and will add two more in the next few days. Among those new recruits are players like Antony Golec, Gyorgy Sandor, Marc Warren and marquee Diego Castro who can all play a number of roles. “The good thing about the squad is the majority of people can play in other positions,” Lowe said. “We saw Gyorgy play as a 6 on Tuesday but really he’s an 8, Castro can play as a 10 but he’s an 11. “Sidnei is a winger but plays up front. We’ve got flexibility which is helpful.” Glory put out an almost full-strength line-up against Wanderers midweek, although Ruben Zadkovich and Alex Grant face a race against time for Round One. “Other than that mileage into the legs of Diego and Guyon (Fernandez), everyone is in a good space,” Lowe said. “Young Granty is coming back now – he’s back in training. The only player in the group who’s not fit at the moment is Ruben.” As for the FFA Cup, Lowe wasn’t too fussed by the possibility of denying football fans a Melbourne derby cup final. Instead, he was amazed by the resources on offer to clubs such as semi-final opponents Melbourne City, having seen Wanderers bring an extended squad and support staff to Perth this week. “It’s another club with massive resources, a superb squad and a good coach, a bit like Wanderers,” he said. “We’ve got to pit ourselves against that and give that a go.”
The Wanderers announced the 28-year-old attacking midfielder’s capture last week, beating off a handful of other A-League clubs for his signature. Vidosic travelled with Wanderers to Western Australia this week for their FFA Cup quarter-final against Perth Glory which they lost 4-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. However, fresh from his return from Europe and a long period without games at Swiss club Sion where he fell out of favour, Popovic only brought Vidosic with the group in order to settle in to the squad. Vidosic would have sat on the pine had it not been for a quad injury to Brendon Santalab in the warm-up, thrusting him into the matchday squad, before getting 15 minutes late on as the game went to extra-time. The former Brisbane Roar and Adelaide United man produced some good touches, a shot on goal and also buried a spotkick in the shootout. “It’s early days for him,” Popovic told FourFourTwo. “He hasn’t played in a while. “He’ll take some time to get up to speed with what we want. “There were encouraging signs. He got involved in our build-up, so we know he’ll be a fantastic player for us.” The Wanderers open the A-League next Thursday at home to Brisbane Roar, with Vidosic in the mix to play, at least off the bench, after his taste of action. “We just wanted him to come with the team, he’s only been training with us for a week,” Popovic said. “We wanted him to see how we prepare and to get to know his team-mates a bit better which helps when you’re away.” Glory coach Kenny Lowe was glowing in his praise of Wanderers on Tuesday night. “They are a very, very, very good team,” he said. “They’ve got some good players. They’re going to be a force. They’re well organised.” Popovic added he was enthused by his side’s signs in pre-season, with hopes for a return to title contention after their struggles amid a number of competitions in 2014-15. “We will keep getting better and better all over the park,” Popovic said. “It’d be hard to argue that wasn’t a very good performance on Tuesday. “You’re coming away from home, it’s a cup game, it’s in pre-season, from the start you dominate the match. “They’re encouraging signs for us.”
With just four vacancies, the process has been criticised by A-League clubs as a rubberstamp for the FFA’s handpicked candidates who go before the AGM in November. It all sets up nicely for Frank Lowy's son, Stephen, who is ready to step into his father's shoes when the FFA Chairman and ageing titan of the game bows out. The new directors will replace Lowy, outgoing Deputy Chairman Brian Schwartz Phill Wolanski and the recently resigned Peter Tredinnick. A-League clubs failed to install former Sydney Olympics CEO Mal Hemmerling as a candidate. Earlier in the week Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin spoke out after the nine state bodies refused to second theA-League-backed Hemmerling. Griffin told the Daily Telegraph: “The clubs have put forward a high calibre candidate that we are asking be given the right to stand. “Once it became clear that the outgoing FFA board wished to impose its candidates without election, it became beholden on all parties to defend the FFA constitution by finding nationally representative candidates that could at the very least ensure adherence to proper democratic process and good governance. “The states’ reaction to our candidate is a sad testament to a broken process.” The four unopposed candidates are: Steven Lowy, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Westfield Corporation; Daniel Moulis, a former Socceroo and principal of Moulis Legal, Crispin Murray, Head of Equity Strategies, BT Investment Management, and Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, Group Executive for Institutional Banking and Markets at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Under the FFA Constitution, to stand for election candidates must be nominated by two proposers and a third seconder. Each of the nine State and Territory Members of FFA acted in the capacity of proposer and/or seconder across one or more of the four nominations. The nominations followed the conclusion of a selection process conducted by the FFA Nominations Committee that started in September 2013. The process resulted in six candidates being recommended as directors in two phases. In the first phase two were appointed to fill vacancies in 2014 – Melbourne lawyer Chris Nikou and the Chief Financial Officer of Caltex, Simon Hepworth, both of whom went through the review process. The second phase of the process concluded with the four current candidates being unanimously recommended by the Nominations Committee. Chairman of the Nominations Committee, Brian Schwartz, said that the committee’s recommendations took into account the experience and qualifications of each individual as well as the extent to which these would complement the skills of other candidates and existing board members. “The Committee’s charter was to identify candidates that would result in a board with a blend of corporate experience in strategy, governance, finance, marketing and new technology combined with football experience and international business at the highest levels,” Schwartz said.
As clubs look to strengthen, and some rebuild, you can find all the ins and outs right here. ADELAIDE UNITED IN:Eli Babalj (AZ Alkmaar - on loan),Mate Dugandzic (free),Iacopo La Rocca (Western Sydney Wanderers), George Mells (free) OUT: Nigel Boogaard (Newcastle Jets), Paul Izzo (Central Coast Mariners), Awer Mabil (FC Midtjylland),Miguel Palanca (Numancia - end of loan) BRISBANE ROAR IN: Corona (free),George Lambadaridis - returning as short-term injury replacement (free),Jamie Maclaren (Perth Glory),George Lambadaridis - returning as short-term injury replacement (free) OUT: Jesse Daley (released), Kofi Danning (Oakleigh Cannons), Lachlan Jackson (Newcastle Jets), Andrija Kaluderovic (released), George Lambadaridis (released), Ben Litfin (Palm Beach), Adam Sarota (FC Utrecht - end of loan) CENTRAL COAST MARINERS IN: Harry Ascroft (free), Mitch Austin (free), Dan Heffernan (Heidelberg United), Paul Izzo (Adelaide United), Roy O'Donovan (free) OUT: Zac Anderson (Sydney FC), Isaka Cernak (released), Brent Griffiths (released), John Hutchinson (retired), Travis Major (released), Hayden Morton (released), Dejan Pandurevic (released), Matt Simon (released), Tom Slater (released), Richard Vernes (Budapest Honved - end of loan) MELBOURNE CITY IN: Wade Dekker (City NYL),Bruno Fornaroli (free),Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow), Corey Gameiro (Sydney FC), Aaron Hughes (free), Steve Kuzmanovski (Western Sydney Wanderers), Harry Novillo (permanent deal), Thomas Sorensen (free) Michael Zullo (free) OUT: Damien Duff (released), Mate Dugandzic (released), Jason Hoffman (Newcastle Jets), Kew Jaliens (released), Josh Kennedy (retired), Massimo Murdocca (released), Iain Ramsay (released), Andrew Redmayne (Western Sydney Wanderers), Rob Wielaert (released) MELBOURNE VICTORY IN: Oliver Bozanic (free), Danny Vukovic (Perth Glory) OUT: Jordan Brown (released), Nathan Coe (released), Mark Milligan (Bani Yas), Andrew Nabbout (released) NEWCASTLE JETS IN: Mark Birighitti (Varese - end of loan), Nigel Boogaard (Adelaide United), Andy Brennan (South Melbourne), Labinot Haliti (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jason Hoffman (Melbourne City), Lachlan Jackson (Brisbane Roar), Themba Muata-Marlow (Sydney FC) Mateo Poljak (Western Sydney Wanderers),Milos Trifunovic (FK Radnicki Nis),Leonardo Vitor Santiago (free), Cameron Watson (free) OUT: Zenon Caravella (released), Travis Cooper (Adamstown Rosebud), Sam Gallagher (released), Andrew Hoole (Sydney FC), Edson Montano (Barcelona SC - end of loan), Scott Neville (Western Sydney Wanderers), Jacob Pepper (Western Sydney Wanderers), Taylor Regan (released), John Solari (released), Jess Vanstrattan (retired), James Virgili (released), Allan Welsh (released) PERTH GLORY IN: Ante Covic (Western Sydney Wanderers),Guyon Fernandez (free),Diego Castro Gimenez - international marquee (free),Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), Antony Golec (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Grant (free),Gyorgy Sandor (free), Jerrad Tyson (Sun Pegasus), Marc Warren (free) OUT: Jack Duncan (Randers FC), Daniel De Silva (Roda JC loan), Rostyn Griffiths (released), Youssouf Hersi (released), Scott Jamieson (Western Sydney Wanderers), Andy Keogh (released), Jamie Maclaren (Brisbane Roar), Brandon O'Neill (Sydney FC), Danny Vukovic (Melbourne Victory), Riley Woodcock (Sydney FC) SYDNEY FC IN: Zac Anderson (Central Coast Mariners), Filip Holosko - international marquee (free), Andrew Hoole (Newcastle Jets), Ivan Necevski (free), Milos Ninkovic (free),Brandon O'Neill (Perth Glory), Matt Simon (free), Jacob Tratt (Sutherland Sharks), Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory) OUT: Terry Antonis (PAOK FC), Nick Carle (released), Corey Gameiro (released), Hagi Gligor (Perth Glory), Bernie Ibini (Shanghai SIPG - end of loan), Marc Janko (released), Ivan Necevski (released), Sasa Ognenovski (released), Nikola Petkovic (KVC Westerlo), Peter Triantis (released) WELLINGTON PHOENIX IN: Blake Powell (APIA Leichhardt), Jeffrey Sarpong (free), Troy Danaskos (Sydney Olympic) OUT: Michael Boxall (SuperSport United), Tyler Boyd (Vitoria Guimaraes), Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Josh Brindell-South (released), Kenny Cunningham (released), Joel Griffiths (released), Jason Hicks (released) WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS IN: Alberto Aguilar (free), Dimas Delgado (free), Scott Jamieson (Perth Glory), Andreu Guerao Mayoral (Racing Santander), Scott Neville (Newcastle Jets), Mitch Nichols (Cerezo Osaka), Jacob Pepper (Newcastle Jets),Federico Piovaccari - international marquee (free),Andrew Redmayne (Melbourne City), Dario Vidosic - marquee (FC Sion) OUT: Kerem Bulut (released), Ante Covic (released), Antony Golec (Perth Glory), Labinot Haliti (released), Tomi Juric (released), Nick Kalmar (released), Steve Kuzmanovski (Melbourne City), Iacopo La Rocca (Adelaide United), Adrian Madaschi (released), Yianni Perkatis (released),Mateo Poljak (released),Nikita Rukavytsya (released), Matthew Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown), Yojiro Takahagi (FC Seoul),Yusuke Tanaka (released),Jason Trifiro (released), Nick Ward (released)
A second half brace from Bruce Djite sealed the win for the Reds who fielded a strong line-up for the behind closed doors clash at Leichhardt Oval on Wednesday. 67 | Goal! @BDjite breaks the dead lock for #AUFC with a fine strike from out side of the box. #SYDvADL Adelaide United FC (@AdelaideUnited) September 30, 2015 87 | Goal! @BDjite fires again for #AUFC, but this time from even further out. 0-2. #SYDvADL Adelaide United FC (@AdelaideUnited) September 30, 2015 Post-match Arnold said: "We made 11 changes today against a strong Adelaide United but it's good all players have now had a good run pre-season." "We've now got 24 match fit players ahead of next week's first match with one pre-game still to play." HT: @SydneyFC 0-0 @AdelaideUnited in our training game. Take a look at the team list #SydneyIsSkyBlue #SYDvADL pic.twitter.com/Drtt7ooUnv Sydney FC (@SydneyFC) September 30, 2015 Sydney's pre-season friendly record was a mixed bag with a W4, D0, L3 outcome. Adelaide heads into the A-League season with a W6, D0, L3 friendly record. See full pre-season results for A-League clubs The Reds kick off their 2015/16 campaign at home on October 9 with a blockbuster clash Melbourne Victory, while Arnold's side will be tested by a slick Melbourne City at Allianz Stadium on October 10. Match Details Wednesday 30 September 2015 Pre-Season Friendly Sydney FC 0 Adelaide United 2 (Djite 67’, 87’) FT | @SydneyFC 0-2 @AdelaideUnited. A second half @BDjite brace secures #AUFC their final pre-season win. #SYDvADL pic.twitter.com/JsUiM2pSss Adelaide United FC (@AdelaideUnited) September 30, 2015
Adelaide United May 29: 2-3 v Villarreal in Adelaide (Goodwin, Marrone) July 15: 0-2 v Manchester City on the Gold Coast July 20: 0-2 v Liverpool in Adelaide July 28: 5-0 v Adelaide Blue Eagles in Adelaide (Carrusca x2, Djite, Sanchez x2) Aug 19: 11-0 v Alice Springs All Stars in Alice Springs (Smith x2, Sanchez x2, Babalj x2, Cirio x3, Carrusca x2) Aug 23: 4-3 v Melbourne City in Darwin (Sanchez, Dugandzic, Jeggo, Goodwin) Sept 10: 2-1 v Adelaide Comets in Adelaide (McGowan, Mells) Sept 16: 3-1 v Melbourne City, City Football Academy, Melbourne (Jeggo, Carrusca, Cirio) Sept 30: 2-0 v Sydney FC (Djite x2) P: 9, W: 6, D: 0, L: 3, F: 29, A: 12 Brisbane Roar June 3: 3-0 v Villarreal in Brisbane (Clut x2, Solorzano) July 17: 1-2 v Liverpool in Brisbane (Petratos) Aug 19: 0-1 v Melbourne Victory on the Gold Coast Aug 30: 10-0 v Gold Coast All Stars, Cleveland (Maclaren x8, Borrello, Yango) Sept 12: 0-0 v Newcastle Jets,Southport Sept 19: 8-0 v PS4 NPLQLD U23 All-Stars inBrisbane Sept 26: 3-1 Central Coast Mariners at Sunshine Coast Stadium (Brown, Petratos, Borrello) P: 7, W: 4, D: 1, L: 2, F: 25, A: 4 Central Coast Mariners Aug 7: 3-2 Western Sydney Wanderers in Coffs Harbour Aug 18: 3-2 Canberra Olympic in ACT (Austin, Sim, Bentham - trialist) Aug 20: 3-1 v Gungahlin United in ACT (O'Donovan x2, Bingham) Sept 10: 3-1 v Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval (Rose, O’Donovan, Sim) Sept 14: 0-3 v Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park Sept 17: 7-0 v Western NSW Mariners, Wade Park, Orange (Heffernan x3, Ascroft, Ferreira x2, Bingham) Sept 20: 0-1 v Newcastle Jets at Wade Park, Orange Sept 26: 1-3 v Brisbane Roar at Sunshine Coast Stadium (Fitzgerald) P: 8, W: 5, D: 0, L: 3, F: 20, A: 10 Melbourne City July 18: 0-1 Manchester City on the Gold Coast Aug 16: 1-1 v Newcastle Jets - behind closed doors (Mooy) Aug 22: 3-4 v Adelaide United in Darwin (Espindola, Germano, Mauk) Sept 4: 5-0 v North Geelong Warriors (Marino, Chapman, Cristaldo, Dekker, Mauk) Sept 9: 8-0 v Oakleigh Cannons, Jack Edwards Reserve (Paartalu, Koren x2, Mauk, Dekker x2, Cristaldo, Espindola) Sept 16: 1-3 v Adelaide United, City Football Academy, Melbourne (Dekker) P: 6, W: 2, D: 1, L: 3, F: 18, A: 7 Melbourne Victory Aug 19: 1-0 v Brisbane Roar on the Gold Coast (Geria) Aug 25: 4-0 v Port Melbourne, JL Murphy Reserve, Melbourne (Pain x2,Ben Khalfallah x2) Sept 9: 4-3 v Hume City, Broadmeadows (Berisha x2, Mahazi, Broxham) Sept 14: 3-0 v Central Coast Mariners (Georgievski, Berisha x2) P: 4, W: 4, D: 0, L: 0, F: 12, A: 3 Newcastle Jets Aug 16: 1-1 Melbourne City - behind closed doors (Haliti) Aug 19: 1-0 v Bentleigh Greens, Kingston Heath Soccer Complex (Poljak pen) Sept 12: 0-0 v Brisbane Roar, Southport Sept 20: 1-0 v Central Coast Mariners at Wade Park, Orange (Hoffman) P: 4, W: 2, D: 2, L: 0, F: 3, A: 1 Perth Glory July 22: 1-0 v Cockburn City in Perth (Garcia) July 28: 4-0 v Inglewood United in Spearwood (Oxborrow, Harold, Valentini v2) Aug 19: 1-0 v WA State Team (Marinkovic) P: 3, W: 3, D: 0, L: 0, F: 6, A: 0 Sydney FC July 22: 7-0 v Earlwood Wanderers FC in Lilyfield (Smeltz pen +1, Calver, Mullen, Lokoli-Ngoy, Naumoff x2) July 30: 5-1 v Macarthur Rams in Campbelltown (Simon, Naumoff, Antonis, Burgess, Lokoli-Ngoy) Aug 13: v Gold Coast All Stars (Gold Coast Cabs Challenge) CANCELLED. Aug 19: 3-0 v Belconnen United (Simon, Tratt, Hoole) Sept 10: 1-3 v Central Coast Mariners at Leichhardt Oval (Ninkovic) Sept 15: 4-0 v South Coast Wolves, WIN Stadium, Wollongong (Holosko, Smeltz x2, Hoole) Sept 18: 1-3 v Wellington Phoenix, WIN Stadium, Wollongong (Holosko) Sept 30: 0-2 v Adelaide United, Leichhardt Oval P: 7, W: 4, D: 0, L: 3, F: 21, A: 9 Wellington Phoenix June 27: 2-1 v Fiji in Suva (Bonevacia, Doyle) June 30: 2-2 v Fiji in Ba (Gulley, Appiah) July 13: 4-1 v Stop Out in Lower Hutt (Krishna x3, McGlinchey) July 21: 3-3 v Petone in Petone (McGarry, Bonevacia, Rogerson) July 22: 3-0 v Miramar in Wellington (Appiah x2, Cahill-Fleury) July 28: 2-3 v Wests at Ole Football Academy Aug 23: 1-2 v New Zealand A in New Plymouth (Krishna) Aug 30: 3-3 v Capital Football Selection in Kapiti (Powell, Appiah x2) Sept 13: 3-1 v Western Sydney Wanderers, Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta (Bonevacia x2, Powell) Sept 15: 5-3 v APIA Leichhardt, Leichhardt Oval (McGarry, Ridenton, Appiah x2) Sept 18: 3-1 v Sydney FC, WIN Stadium, Wollongong (Krishna, Powell x 2) Sept 26: 2-2 v Auckland City, (Krishna,Danaskos) P: 12, W: 6, D: 4, L: 2, F: 33, A: 22 Western Sydney Wanderers July 30: 3-0 Mt Druitt Town Rangers in Emerton (Bridge, Castelen, Ly) Aug 7: 2-3 v Central Coast Mariners in Coffs Harbour Aug 25: 3-0 v Canberra FC at Deakin Stadium, ACT (Bridge,Piovaccari, Santalab) Sept 13: 1-3 v Wellington Phoenix, Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta (Nichols) Sept 22: v 2-1 APIA Leichhardt, Leichhardt Oval (Piovaccari, Castelen) P: 5, W: 3, D: 0, L: 2, F: 11, A: 7
The former youth international will replace Luke Brattan who had his contract terminated with the Queensland outfit. Corona represented Spain at U-21 level and was a member of the U-16 team that won the European Championship and took bronze at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Since 2006 he has played for Spanish side Almeria and was the club's captain, notching up 312 appearances for 22 goals in all competitions. The club was relegated to the second division last season. Brisbane Roar Head Coach John Aloisi said the No. 6 would bring quality to the Roar side. "The way Miguel plays on the ball, he's technically very good and he will be able to start the plays for us," Aloisi said of the 34-year-old who played nine seasons in the Spanish top flight. "He's got all the qualities that we are looking for in that position to play the style of football we want to play." The last goal Aloisi scored during his Spain career was for Alaves in 2007 – a 2-2 draw against Almeria featuring Corona. Miguel Angel Garcia Perez-Roldan was given the playing name Corona as a youngster in a mark of respect to his grandfather, a respected elder in his hometown, Talavera de la Reina. Corona had a three-year stint in the youth ranks at RealMadrid and also played in Spain with Zaragoza(in 2001/04 and 2005/06),Polideportivo Ejido (2004/05) and Albacete (2005/06). The midfielder said he was excited about playing with the three-time A-League champions. "The attacking, possession-based style of the Roar suits my game," Corona said. "This style and the positive approach to football by John Aloisi is what drew me to the club. Now I can't wait to get onto the field and show what I can do."
City had too much class for their PS4 NPL Victoria opponents with Mooy the star, scoring a treble sandwiched in between Bruno Fornaroli’s two goals. The Socceroo midfielder’s performance overshadowed the appearance of veteran Greek international Kostas Katsouranis for the home side. Mooynificent City crush Bergers Mooy has now scored six goals in the FFA Cup this year to be the competition’s leading scorer. Asked by Fox Sports the last time he scored a hat-trick, Mooy said: “I don’t think there was a last time. The boys made me look good so I’m very thankful to them. “It’s what we wanted to do, we wanted to progress tonight and I thought we played really well. We’re through so it’s great.” Gallery: FFA Cup action In front of a bumper crowd of more than 11,000 at Olympic Village, City’s superior quality shone through from the outset with Fornaroli giving them the lead inside two minutes. John van ‘t Schip’s men had to wait more than an hour for their second as Mooy lashed in a shot from 25 metres out to douse any flickering Heidelberg hopes. Three more goals were added in the last 21 minutes as City ran rampant, their reward a semi-final trip to either Perth Glory or Western Sydney Wanderers next month. “We’ve got to back ourselves against anyone,” Mooy said. “We’ve got to take out the best, to be the best.”
Wanderers open the season at home to Brisbane Roar on Thursday week, but Santalab is unlikely to play after he was injured in the warm-up prior to Tuesday night’s FFA Cup 4-2 penalty shootout loss to Perth Glory. Santalab, who turned 33 earlier this month, has only managed five appearances since the club’s November 2 AFC Champions League final triumph due to successive shoulder injuries. After a big pre-season where he has regained fitness and appeared in the cup win over Palm Beach in early September, he’s now set for another stint on the sidelines. “He’s got a quad injury which is a shame,” Popovic told FourFourTwo. “He’s been doing really well. It’s never ideal to lose a player in the warm-up.” Young Socceroos attacker Jaushua Sotirio was replaced in extra-time after copping a heavy knock from Josh Risdon but Popovic insisted he was fine. The Wanderers coach was delighted with his side’s performance against Glory despite the shootout defeat. Glory defeat Wanderers in dramatic shootout Gallery: FFA Cup action “Overall, I think we should have won the game in 90 minutes,” Popovic said. “We controlled pretty much the whole game. We unfortunately didn’t put them away when we had all the chances when we were up 1-0. “Overall it’s pre-season, we’re disappointed we haven’t gone through, because we certainly deserved to win that game but there’s a lot of positives. “We’re fortunate we’ve got nine days before the first game so we can recover and we’ll go into the first game with confidence.”
The new abbreviated format is aimed at slashing travel and focusing future youth development on the NPL. The format also includes one A-League curtain raiser and six W-League double-headers. Football Federation Australia confirmed the radical restructure on Wednesday along with the release of the 2015/16 draw which will see teams play just eight NYL regular matches. The 10 clubs will be divided into Conference A (Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar FC, Melbourne City FC, Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory) and Conference B (Central Coast Mariners, FFA Centre of Excellence, Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers FC) - the latter clearly benefiting the most from reduced travel commitments. Within each conference, the teams will play each other twice over 10 rounds (four home / four away – eight matches and two byes per team). The new format complements the clubs’ NPL calendar and will see youth players with up to 40 weeks of competitive football each year (excluding A-League, the FFA Cup, NYL Grand Final and friendlies). A-League boss Damien de Bohun said the overhaul was the result of years of development and included feedback from stakeholders such as A-League clubs, Member Federations and FFA’s National Performance and Technical Department. De Bohun said: “Throughout this consultation process a number of issues were identified regarding the current structure of the competition and its important role of player development. “The participation of Foxtel National Youth League teams in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues (NPL) was seen as providing Hyundai A-League Clubs with a more effective youth development framework, without the extensive travel requirements that were deemed to be counterproductive to youth development. “Taking all this into consideration, it was timely to consider changes to the Foxtel National Youth League competition for the 2015/16 Season onwards.” De Bohun said the revamp “falls perfectly in line with the goals of the National Football Curriculum and also of our recently released Whole of Football Strategy Plan”. FFA Technical Director, Eric Abrams, said the new NYL format will benefit to the players and clubs for years to come with the development of “quality footballers for the Hyundai A-League and the National teams”. “From next season all nine Australian Hyundai A-League clubs will have their youth teams playing in the relevant National Premier League competitions over the winter months against men and then come together for an abbreviated National Youth League season,” Abrams said. “It is an exciting step forward for football in Australia as our talented youth players will be able to take part in a coordinated “year-long” program in a consistent environment that will help develop better players.” The NYL will start on the weekend of November 7-8, with the top team from each conference to meet in the 2016 Grand Final on the weekend of January 23/14. Other key features of the Foxtel National Youth League 2015/16 Season Draw include: • More favourable kick-off times for matches during summer months for majority of matches; • One Hyundai A-League Curtain-Raiser (15 Jan MBV v BNR prior to Hyundai A-League match between the same two teams at AAMI Park); • Six Westfield W-League Double-Headers
Glory won 4-2 on penalties after the game was locked at 1-1 at the end of extra time. A horrible miss in the shootout from Wanderers striker Federico Piovoccari gave Glory the advantage. Antony Golec and Sidnei both dispatched their pens for Perth and when Scott Jamieson blazed over for Wanderers, Glory skipper Richard Garcia completed the job coolly despatching a winning penalty. Covic, who was released by Wanderers in the off-season after winning the ACL with the western Sydney club last season, made a fabulous double-save in the second half of regular time to keep the home side in it. He said it was extra special defeating his former club, though he admitted Glory were dominated by the red and black in the opening 45. “Obviously there’s a little bit extra for me to beat the Wanderers but the first goal was to make sure Perth Glory went through,” Covic told Fox Sports. “The onus was on them. They were the ones under pressure. And it showed.” Glory coach Kenny Lowe was in high spirits after another extra-time win. “We love a bit of extra time – it seems the way we get our pre-season in,” he joked. “We did quite well, especially in the second half.” Lowe added some of his newer players wanted to stay on the park but he withdrew them to ensure no injuries with the A-League in mind. Covic added: “We’ve a bunch of new players and we’re still trying to figure each other out, but it’s good to get 120 minutes and progress to the next stage.” Glory now host Melbourne City in the semi -finals of the Westfield FFA Cup in October.
Fornaroli scored twice in City’s 5-0 quarter-final win over Heidelberg United, with marquee man Aaron Mooy netting a hat-trick at Olympic Village. City will now travel to face Perth Glory in the semi-finals, with a possible match-up against derby foes Victory in the final of the competition. “It would be spectacular,” Fornaroli told FourFourTwo. “In my first season here it would be great to become champions in front of our local rivals. “We have a great chance because we have a great team with great players and we’ll keep fighting until the end.” Fornaroli scored after just 120 seconds of action on Tuesday night before adding another in second-half stoppage time. “I’m very happy,” he said. “At one moment the game got complicated but we scored the goals in the right moments and it counts to get us through to keep going in this Cup. “I was happy to help the team with my two goals.” Despite the dominant score-line in the end, the game was still only 1-0 in City’s favour as late as the 65th minute. The Uruguayan striker admitted it was always going to be a tough encounter against a strong NPL Victoria opponent. “We knew it was going to be a hard game but we spoke a lot during the week, it worked well and the team did everything well,” he said. “We knew we were going to face a tough opponent and that there was going to be a lot of people here and it’s always important to improve with a victory.” The date and venue for City’s FFA Cup semi-final against Perth will be released by FFA in the coming days.
Glory appear to have a thin squad after a major player turnover in the off-season following the club’s salary cap scandal last term. Perth’s lack of depth was evident in Tuesday’s FFA Cup win over Western Sydney Wanderers, when winger Sidnei Sciola played up front after replacing the side’s only recognised striker Guyon Fernandez. Speaking after the 4-2 penalty shootout triumph, Lowe confirmed the club were on the verge of two new signings ahead of their season opener away to Central Coast on Saturday week. “We’ll sign two more,” Lowe said. “It’s close. “They’ve both got 50-70 A-League games, so we’re trying to bring a little bit of experience. “We’ve only got a really small squad, so we can’t take a gamble on people out of the state league, because people who come in are going to play. That’s our thought process.” Despite the size of his squad, Lowe was delighted with the ambience among it, amid another fine FFA Cup run, having made the final last year. “It creates a real ambience," Lowe said. "The music’s on, they’re all together, it’s buzzing in the change-rooms. “Wins like that start to create an ambience within your football team and you can’t buy things like that.” Glory had trailed 1-0 before Nebojsa Marinkovic’s trademark equalizer in the 59thminute. The hosts went on to triumph on penalties 4-2, clinching their third straight cup victory beyond the regulation 90 minutes. “That’s where we organise our pre-season and get extra minutes in,” Lowe laughed. “It’s a continuation on last season. It’s a credit to themselves – they don’t know when they’re beaten. “They work ever so hard, they care for each other. The second-half performance was excellent, really, really good.” Glory will host Melbourne City in the FFA Cup semi-finals late next month.
After the game ended 1-1 in extra time, a horrible miss in the shootout from Wanderers striker Federico Piovoccari gave Glory the advantage. Antony Golec and Sidnei both dispatched their pens for Glory and when Scott Jamieson blazed over for Wanderers, Glory skipper Richard Garcia completed the job coolly slotting home a winning penalty. Dorrien Gardens exploded in delight but heartbreak for the Wanderers as Glory progressed to the semi finals. After the shock of losing striker Brendon Santalab to an injury in the warm-up, Spanish import Dimas Delgado broke the game open for the Wanderers on 41 minutes. The red and black got in behind the Glory defence down their left with Mitch Nichols providing the assist with a squared ball for Delgado to slide the ball home from right in front. To that point, it had been an even contest. Nebojsa Marinkovic had a couple of trademark long-range efforts for Perth, while Mitch Nichols’ volley went just wide for the visitors. A goal up at the break and Wanderers would’ve felt confident heading into the second half. And it should’ve been 2-0 but former Wanderer Ante Covic pulled off a brilliant double-stop from first Nichols then Sotirio to keep Glory in the game. It was a pivotal moment as minutes later Marinkovic blasted home a low shot from the edge of the box to draw the game level for Glory. The assistant referee flagged but it was over-ruled to make it 1-1. It set up an exciting final 30 minutes of a very competitive clash with Sidnei for Glory threatening down the left and Chris Harold on the right. Wanderers managed to hold on to take the game into extra time. For the red and black, new signing Dario Vidosic came on for Sotirio as they looked to breakthrouth in extra time but was unable to find a winner. Set pieces looked the most likely avenue to goal but neither side could find a breakthrough as the game went to a shootout. Perth Glory 1 (AET, 4-2 after penalties) Marinkovic (59’) Western Sydney Wanderers 1 Delgado (41’)
An early goal to import Bruno Fornaroli got City off to a flyer before Mooy’s second half treble and another for the Uruguayan booked City’s spot in the last four in emphatic fashion. While much of the focus was on what impact Heidelberg’s ex-Greek international Kostas Katsouranos would have, it was Mooy who stole the show and he now has six goals in the competition this year. Katsouranis, who has 116 caps for Greece, showed glimpses of his pedigree but was unable to have a big influence on the match as City were totally dominant. Olympic Village was bursting at the seams with the 11,372 fans – the second largest crowd in the competition’s history - producing a cracking atmosphere in the hope of seeing a huge Cup upset. But the home support was left deflated inside the first two minutes as City scored the competition’s third-fastest ever goal via Fornaroli. Youngster Wade Dekker deserves much of the credit, showing great skill to control Erik Paartalu’s long-ball before playing a one-two with Mooy and putting the ball on a plate for the Uruguayan score. City’s superior quality was evident early on and they really should have had another couple of goals inside the first 15 minutes. Mooy’s dipping free-kick was pawed away by Griffin McMaster while Fornaroli was only denied his second by the width of the post. But out of nothing the PS4 NPL Victoria club was almost level, but for a world-class save by Tando Velaphi. Nejc Kolman got in behind the City defence and squared to an on-rushing Kaine Sheppard who looked certain to score just six yards out only for a sprawling Velaphi to smother it away. It was a rare scare for City who went back to dominating the contest. The post again prevented the Hyundai A-League club extending their lead, with Conner Chapman the unlucky man this time from another Mooy corner. City weren’t quite as effective or fluent going forward after the break as Heidelberg battled courageously to stay in the match. But Mooy ended their resolve just after the hour mark, hitting a rasping drive from 25 metres out which arrowed into the bottom corner. Four minutes later and the Socceroo midfielder had his second from a similar range, this time beating McMaster with his left foot with another impressive strike to add to his growing catalogue. Mooy then rounded off his hat-trick six minutes from the end, in the right-place at the right time to poke home after Jack Clisby’s shot was only parried by McMaster, before Fornaroli put the icing on the cake in stoppage time. Heidelberg United 0 Melbourne City 5 (Fornaroli 2’, 90+2’ Mooy 65’, 69’, 84)
The 2014/15 double title-winners ticked over 24,232 members on Tuesday, about 200 more than last season’s effort, with still a week to go before the campaign kicks off. But it still remains about 1800 short of their target. Phoenix hail membership surge Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro said he was delighted with the response from fans. "We are incredibly proud and appreciative of the extraordinary contribution our members make to our club,” Di Pietro said. "The atmosphere and passion our members generate at our games is second to none and an inspiration to all of us. "Despite achieving a new club record, we have not reached our membership target for this season, so I encourage all Melbourne Victory fans who are not members to join us for what promises to be our most exciting season yet."