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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),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: Jamie Maclaren (Perth Glory) 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), 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), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moscow), Corey Gameiro (Sydney FC), Aaron Hughes (free), Steve Kuzmanovski (Western Sydney Wanderers), Harry Novillo (permanent deal), 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: 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), 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), Hagi Gligor (Sydney FC), Antony Golec (Western Sydney Wanderers), Alex Grant (free),Gyorgy Sandor (free), Jerrad Tyson (Sun Pegasus) OUT: Jack Duncan (Randers FC), Daniel De Silva (Roma), 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),Milos Ninkovic (free),Brandon O'Neill (Perth Glory), Matt Simon (free), Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory) OUT: 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) 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: 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) 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)
Simon, who is a free agent, penned a contract with the Sky Blues on Monday afternoon, a deal which will see him reunited with former Mariners boss Graham Arnold. The towering target man has been on a two-week trial with the club and scored and assisted in their recent 5-1 pre-season victory against Macarthur Rams. "I'm excited to have signed for Sydney FC and I'm hugely thankful to have been given the opportunity by the club," Simon said. "Last season was a tough year, I missed all of pre-season due to personal reasons and had a couple of injuries towards the end of the year, so was disappointed to be released. "I see this as a fresh start and with a full pre-season under my belt, I'm confident I can produce my best form playing for one of Australia's premier clubs. "Competing for three trophies, including the Asian Champions League was a huge lure in joining Sydney FC and I can't wait to play in front of their fantastic Members and fans at Allianz Stadium." The 29-year-old has made over 150 appearances in the A-League and is the Mariners' record scorer with 45 goals. He spent eight seasons with the Gosford outfit before being released at the end of the last campaign which saw the Mariners finish 8th. Arnold praised the signing and said he was pleased to have Simon within the Sky Blues ranks. "Matt is quality player and has exceptional personal attributes as well. He gives us something completely different to what we already have up front and he has done extremely well for us in the last two weeks. "He is aggressive and strong, his attitude is first class and I'm sure he'll be a success at Sydney FC this season. "Competing across three competitions this year we need depth across all parts of the field and I'm confident he will complement our squad." Simon will go straight into the Sky Blues squad to face Sorrento FC in the Westfield FFA Cup on Wednesday night (kick off 8.30pm AEDT), alongside youngster Max Burgess who returns as part of the Cup squad and the Foxtel National Youth League competition following a brief spell at the Newcastle Jets at the end of season 2014/15. INSET PIC: sydneyfc.com.au
FFA Cup Preview: Balmain Tigers v Melbourne Victory MATCH DETAILS Tuesday, 4 August 2015 Leichhardt Oval, Leichhardt (NSW) Kick-off:7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST) Referee:Steve Lucas Assistant Referee1:Lance Greenshields Assistant Referee2:Mitchell Clark Fourth Official:Chris Young TV Broadcast:7.00pm (AEST) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505 Radio Broadcast:ABC Grandstand Digital andonline Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#BALvMVC Balmain Tigers squad:2.Thomas HYDE, 3.Joel COOK, 4.Leonardo DI GIULIO, 5.Ciaran MUIR, 6.James KIOIDIS, 7.Tatsuya NAKADAI, 8.Costa FIAKOS, 9.Jonathan GOWDY, 10.Andrew CASALI, 11.William DONATO, 13.Ahmed CHANDAB, 14.Sergej KUNST, 17.Jehan LOKE, 21.Gavin WENYON, 23.Anthony COSTA (gk), 25.Scott TONKIN, 29.Valentin BROEHL, 83.Levi VITALE (gk) Melbourne Victory squad:1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Nicholas ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Guilherme FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18.Dylan MURNANE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Kieran DOVER, 24.Thomas DENG, 30.Lucas SPINELLA (gk) BLUFFER’S GUIDE A tie of truly David v Goliath proportions as part-timers Balmain Tigers, the “Battlers from the ‘burbs”, take on the behemoth that is Melbourne Victory – the reigning A-League champions and the biggest club in Australia. Leichhardt Oval will be rocking as this tightknit group of students, plumbers and office workers from the third tier of NSW football aim to bring down A-League royalty. While stopping the likes of Berisha, Finkler and Co. will be an unenviable task, the Tigers won’t die wondering. Could an FFA Cup boilover of epic proportions unfold live on Match Day 2? Surely not… WHAT THEY SAY Tass Fiakos (Balmain Tigers manager):“It’s the draw the boys wanted. They wanted a big team, and they certainly got that. They’re ready to go, it’s massive for the club and for the whole district. Our Facebook has been going off. We’ve had people from Germany and England and all sorts of places wishing us well and a lot of clubs from the area have been in touch. Victory doesn’t know much about us, so we hope that works in our favour. We’re certainly not going to lie down.” Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory striker):"We were very close last year. This year we will try to get better. We have the team. We want to continue being great in Australia, number one in Australia." WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BALMAIN TIGERS · League:NSW State League 1 (third tier) ·Current ladder position:4th: won 9 / drawn 2 / lost 8 ·Latest result:Defeated Dulwich Hill 2-0 ·Who to watch out for:Scott Tonkin MELBOURNE VICTORY ·League:Hyundai A-League ·Current ladder position:1stin last season’s A-League and reigning champions ·Latest result: Friendly v Young Socceroos (behind closed doors, July 31) ·Who to watch out for:Besart Berisha FFA Cup preview: Edgeworth FC v Melbourne City FC MATCH DETAILS Tuesday, 4 August 2015 Magic Park, Broadmeadow (VIC) Kick-off:7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST) Referee:Kris Griffiths-Jones Assistant Referee1:Ryan Gallagher Assistant Referee2:Glen Peterkin Fourth Official:Trent Nash Online Broadcast:Streamed onlineatwww.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemandand Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#EDGvMCY Edgeworth FC squad:1.Jim FOGARTY (gk), 2.Cameron HUGHES, 3.Aaron MCLOUGHLIN, 4.Ayden BRICE, 5.Patrick WHEELER, 6.Luke WALKER, 7.Bren ABBOT-HAMMEL, 8.Josh EVANS, 9.Brody TAYLOR, 10.Keanu MOORE, 11.Dylan HOLZ, 12.Brenton OLZOMER, 13.Lachlan PASQUALE, 14.Justin TANNOCK, 15.Domenico BIZZARI, 16.Aaron PRITCHARD, 17.Liam SPURWAY, 18.Bray SMITH, 19.Josh CARROLL, 20.Ben SMITH (gk), 21.Samuel MAXWELL, 22.Jake FAIRHALL (gk), 23.Brady CARR, 24.Jordan JACKSON, 25.Beau WILKINS Melbourne City FC squad:2.Mahmut Ali EYIGUN, 3.Aaron HUGHES, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Michael ZULLO, 13.Jonatan GERMANO, 15.Stefan ZINNI, 17.Wade DEKKER, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Philip PETRESKI, 20.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Luka PRELEVIC, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 40.Yaren SOZER (gk) BLUFFER’S GUIDE Home side Northern NSW NPL leaders Edgeworth FC are at Magic Park for a daunting clash against financially powerful Melbourne City FC - part of the global City Football Group. The Hyundai A-League club warmed up for this with a friendly behind closed doors against the Young Socceroos. Prior to that a friendly with ‘sister’ club Manchester City where they more than matched the EPL giants in a 1-0 loss on the Gold Coast. But the Eagles have shown an eye for goal in their domestic competition where they are sitting on top of the ladder (and are yet to draw this season). This should be another fascinating David v Goliath battle as NNSW meets Victoria for a spot in the last 16. WHAT THEY SAY Damien Zane (Edgeworth FC coach):“We’re pretty solid defensively. That’s where we see we can stay in the game. We’re quite quick and positive going forward. We have some dangerous guys in the front third. I think we suit this type of game. I’m confident we can stay in it for a fair chunk of the match and hopefully frustrate them a little bit. Who knows, maybe we can grab something that we can defend.” John van ‘t Schip (Melbourne City coach):“The game against Man City was great, a great experience, but it was a friendly. The game against Edgeworth is an official game and for us it can mean we can play more and go for a prize. Every game counts but this game will count more as we prepare for the season...for us, [Edgeworth] is more important." WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW EDGEWORTH FC ·League:PS4 NPL Northern NSW ·Current ladder position:1st- won 12/ drawn 0 / lost 4 ·Latest result:Defeated South Cardiff 2-0 ·Who to watch out for:Brenton Olzomer MELBOURNE CITY FC ·League:Hyundai A-League ·Current ladder position:Finished fifth last season ·Latest result:Lost 1-0 to Manchester City in a friendly ·Who to watch out for:Harry Novillo FFA Cup Preview: Gungahlin United v Sydney Olympic 1st Grade boys show off their Westfield #FFACUP playing strip at Harrison today - with the help of a spectacular... http://t.co/JbHjzgMAEb Gungahlin United FC (@GUFC1997) August 1, 2015 MATCH DETAILS Tuesday, 4 August 2015 Gungahlin Enclosed, Gungahlin (ACT) Kick-off:7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST) Referee:Rebecca Durcau Assistant Referee1:Greg Taylor Assistant Referee2:Adam Powers Fourth Official:Matthew Cropper Online Broadcast:Streamed onlineatwww.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemandand Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#GFCvSOL Gungahlin United squad:1.Jason DENHAM (gk),2.Alex MOSCARITOLO,3.Dustin WELLS,4.Jack GREEN,5.Nathan TIDMARSH,6.Stephen DOMINICI,7.Regan WALSH,8.Shane MURRAY,9.Daniel BARAC,10.Josh GASPARI,11.Jeremy HABTEMARIAM,12.Danny KRAJACIC,14.Liam WALSH,15.Adam DE FRANCESCHI,17.Josh PARISI,18.Tony MADAFARI,20.Hassan KAMARA,21.Costandi FALLAS (gk), 22.Michael JOHN,24.Josh LAGUDAH (gk),55.Tal EVANS Sydney Olympic squad:1.Paul HENDERSON (gk), 2.Brayden SORGE, 3.Troy DANASKOS, 4.Brendan HOOPER, 5.Yianni SPYRAKIS, 6.Ryan KEIR, 7.William ANGEL, 8.Jason MADONIS, 9.Dimitri HATZIMOURATIS, 10.Harris GAITATZIS, 11.Scott BALDERSON, 12.Daniel SADAKA (gk), 14.Peter MARKOVIC, 15.Leigh EGGER, 16.Howard FONDYKE, 17.James ANDREW, 18.Taiga SOEDA, 19.Go SHIRAI, 21.John DIMITRAKAS (gk), 22.Michael GAITATZIS, 26.Jack GREEN, 27.Oliver GREEN, 33.Nikolas TSATTALIOS, 44.Cohan MORRIS, 60.Tolgay OZBEY Hoping that Sydney Olympic FC pack their thermals for the trip down to Canberra #lovingthefrostyweather #GoGunners http://t.co/817DwngxpY Gungahlin United FC (@GUFC1997) August 2, 2015 BLUFFER’S GUIDE The national capital is back on the national stage as local club Gungahlin United make their Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 debut. In their way, PS4 NSW NPL 1 side Sydney Olympic – a club with lofty ambitions and full of confidence after blasting NPL NSW league leaders Blacktown City 4-0 on the weekend. The ex-NSL club made the last 16 in 2014 – beaten by eventual semi-finalists Bentleigh Greens – and are striving to make an impact on the national stage again. But getting a result on a cold winter night in Canberra is easier said than done, especially against a Gungahlin outfit which has made a habit of defying the odds under wily former NSL defender-turned-coach Claudio Canosa. WHAT THEY SAY Claudio Canosa (Gungahlin United coach):“They [Olympic] are one of the big clubs from the NSL and we will have a lot of respect for them. It’s probably a good opportunity for both clubs to put their best foot forward in the competition. We recognize Olympic is a club with good players and strong history but we are excited by this challenge. Whenever the players have had a challenge this year they seem to be able to overcome it.” Grant Lee (Sydney Olympic coach):"It’s a cold, winter night in Canberra and with Olympic’s history, this is a big match forGungahlin. It will be a bit of a grand final for them. I know a bit about them...looking at their list, there are some good young players and some of them I’d had trial for Olympic too. Hopefully we can get up there and try and kill it off early, but we’ll be prepared for a tough game.” WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW GUNGAHLIN UNITED ·League:PS4 NPL ACT ·Current ladder position:6th- won 6 / drawn 3 / lost 5 ·Latest result:Lost 2-0 to Tigers FC ·Who to watch out for:Daniel Barac SYDNEY OLYMPIC ·League:PS4 NPL NSW ·Current ladder position:4th – won 11 / drawn 3 / lost 6 ·Latest result:Defeated Blacktown City 4-0 ·Who to watch out for:Go Shirai FFA Cup Preview: Sydney United 58 v South Hobart We have arrived! Sunny 18 degrees @FootballFedTas pic.twitter.com/FxRoozIQ4g South Hobart FC (@SouthHobartFC) August 3, 2015 MATCH DETAILS Tuesday, 4 August 2015 Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park (NSW) Kick-off:7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST) Referee:Luke Withell Assistant Referee1:Owen Goldrick Assistant Referee2:Kearney Robinson Fourth Official:Adrian Arndt Online Broadcast:Streamed onlineatwww.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemandand Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#SUNvSHO Sydney United 58 FC squad:1.Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2.Guiseppe CAMERA, 4.Nathan SHERLOCK, 5.Anthony TOMELIC, 6.Mitchell STAMATELLIS, 7.Richard CARDOZO, 9.Robert MILESKI, 10.Chris TRIANTIS, 11.Daniel DRAGICEVIC, 12.Koen BOSMA, 15.Mark CINDRIC, 16.Stjepan PARIC, 17.Theo KOFINAS, 18.Peter TRIANTIS, 19.Matthew BILIC, 20.Ibrahim HAYDAR, 21.Chris ZUVELA, 22.Luke BABIC (gk), 23.Panagiotis NIKAS South Hobart squad:1.Kane PIERCE (gk), 2.Connor SCHMIDT, 3.Kobe KEMP, 4.Liam QUAILE, 5.Hugh LUDFORD, 6.Hugh UNDY, 7.Darcy HALL, 8.Oscar THOMAS, 9.Brayden MANN, 10.Alex WALTER, 11.Joseph STEVENS, 12.Christopher HUNT, 13.Alexander LESZCZYNSKI, 14.Matthew LEWIS, 15.Alfred HESS, 16.Daniel BROWN, 17.Christopher DOWNES, 21.Mark MONCUR (gk) BLUFFER’S GUIDE With two canny coaches in Mark Rudan and South Hobart’s Ken Morton, this looms as the hardest clash to pick on Match Day 2. Though what we are to make of United’s calamitous 5-0 loss to Manly on the weekend in the NPL NSW, it’s hard to know. Minds elsewhere perhaps? The dominant Tassie club fell at the first hurdle in 2014 but return to the national stage wiser for last year’s experience. Two clubs with previous experience in this competition, will United’s talent-laden squad prevail or can South Hobart’s free-scoring approach bear fruit at the Sydney United Sports Centre? WHAT THEY SAY Giuseppe Camera(Sydney United):“I didn’t get the chance to play [against Sydney FC] last year…but it was an incredible atmosphere. The crowd was unreal, especially for the players. The boys still talk about it in the dressing room. I don’t know a lot about them [South Hobart] so we’re expecting a tough game against tough opposition.” Ken Morton (South Hobart coach):“When we played them [United] here in Hobart in 2013, we sat off them, had a look at them and they destroyed us on a couple of set-pieces. Once we started to push up and press a little bit higher up the field, we got ourselves back into the game and we done quite well. I think we'll go there with confidence, we've got nothing to lose.” WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW SYDNEY UNITED 58 ·League:PS4 NPL NSW ·Current ladder position:9th - won 8 / drawn 1 / lost 11 ·Latest result:Lost 5-0 to Manly United ·Who to watch out for:Chris Triantis SOUTH HOBART FC ·League:PS4 Victory League ·Current ladder position:1st-won 13 / drawn 1 / lost 4 ·Latest result:Defeated Launceston City 3-2 on Saturday ·Who to watch out for:Brayden Mann FOX SPORTS will have a full broadcast of the Match of the Day and willstreamall other non-broadcastmatchesonline atwww.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemandand Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now. ***For any goal kicked by an amateur or semi-professional club against a Hyundai A-League team during the Westfield FFA Cup, NAB will kick-back $2,500 to the goal-scorer's club.
The Socceroo departed the A-League powerhouse for Baniyas of the United Arab Emirates in June, leaving Carl Valeri, Leigh Broxham and youngster Rashid Mahazi as the club's only experienced options in central midfield. Speaking to reporters on Monday ahead of Victory's match away to Balmain Tigers in the Westfield FFA Cup round of 32, Muscat described the search for a new signing as “a work in progress”. "It'd be nice to bring someone into the squad but it's not in an advanced stage at the moment," the current A-League Coach of the Year, said. "We are obviously speaking to a few people. Pressed on whether or not the newcomer would be like-for-like in terms of position, Muscat added: "It's a difficult one. I've clearly got a preference but at the same time I just don't want to pigeonhole that. "Because if someone else does become available and it happens to be in another position, we will look it at. The obvious one is to bring in is another midfielder, but time will tell." And according to the head coach, there is no specific time frame on a potential signing. "I don't want to rush things," he said. "The European markets … have still got a bit of time left but everyone's back training. Maybe those opportunities will be done and dusted. Over the coming weeks we'd like to be able to bring somebody in." While Victory have so far retained the bulk of their championship-winning side, the loss of Asian Cup-winning Socceroo Milligan is something of a blow to the heavyweight club's standing as they embark on a title defence and AFC Champions League campaign. But Muscat, who was able to call on both James Troisi and Tom Rogic during his first campaign in charge, claimed he isn't required to specifically seek a new Australian marquee simply for prestige purposes. "No, I've never come under any pressure to sign somebody for those reasons," he said. "Ultimately, I want to bring somebody into the football that first and foremost is going to make us a better team. That's the only criteria I have at the moment."
City promoted the 21-year-old to the topflight on the eve of the club’s opening FFA Cup clash against Edgeworth Eagles on Wednesday. Dekker is expected to feature for John van’t Schip’s side against the Eagles in the Round of 32, after impressing for the club’s youth teams over the past three seasons. “The club’s coaching staff have been monitoring Wade’s progress closely over the last 12 months and we believe he has matured into a very promising attacking player,” van’t Schip said. “A senior contract is great reward for his application, professional attitude and consistent performances.” The former Northcote City player enjoyed a breakout season last term, claiming the NYL Golden Boot, with 10 goals during the championship-winning campaign. An industrious striker with an eye for goal, Dekker has already been provided the opportunity to impress the first team Head Coach John van’t Schip. The young attacker was in the starting line-up in the club’s recent friendly against EPL giants, Manchester City, which saw him go toe-to-toe with Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany. Van ‘t Schip added: “Last year we elevated Paulo Retre from our youth team and he re-signed again for this season, so this is a great opportunity for Wade. “Promoting players from within our system is very important to us and with teams in the NYL and NPL, hopefully it is only the beginning.” Dekker will wear the number 17 shirt for Melbourne City FC in 2015/16. INSET PIC: melbournecityfc.com.au
The 32-year-old, who has considerable experience playing in Spain’s second tier, joins countryman Andreu Guerao Mayoral at the Wanderers. Delgado hits Australian shores on Friday before linking up with his new teammates on Monday as the club prepares to host Brisbane Roar in the FFA Cup Round of 32 at Pepper Stadium. Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said securing Dimas showed that the club is committed to being an immediate threat in the league this season. “We have had a very big off-season in terms of our recruitment, we believe that these new additions will have us in a very strong position leading into the coming season,” Tsatsimas said. “Dimas has played in a top league in Europe his whole career and we know the calibre of player he is and that he can add another dimension to our midfield. “We look forward to welcoming Dimas to our club and putting the final pieces together for a very strong Hyundai A-League season.” Dimas started his career at lower league side Gramenet before signing for Barcelona reserves. He had one season in La Liga with Numancia and then spent the past five in the Segunda with Numancia, Cartagena and most recently Recreativo Huelva, earning more 200 caps in both leagues. The midfielder said he was looking forward to a great season with the Wanderers. “I am very happy with the opportunity and I look forward to getting started with the Wanderers,” Dimas said. “It will be a very nice experience for me and my family, I’m going to a great country like Australia and a great city and I will do my best to adapt to the city and the Club as quickly as possible. “I wish we have a great season full of success.”
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) August 19: v Alice Springs All Stars in Alice Springs August 22: v Melbourne City in Darwin Sept 10: v Adelaide Comets in Adelaide P: 4, W: 1, D: 0, L: 3, F: 7, A: 7 Brisbane Roar June 3: 3-0 v Villarreal in Brisbane (Clut x2, Solorzano) July 17: 1-2 Liverpool in Brisbane (Petratos) P: 2, W: 1, D: 0, L: 1, F: 4, A: 2 Central Coast Mariners August 5: v Newcastle Jets (venue TBC) August 7: v Western Sydney Wanderers in Coffs Harbour August 18: v Canberra Olympic in ACT August 20: v Gungahlin United in ACT P: 0, W: 0, D: 0, L: 0, F: 0, A: 0 Melbourne City July 18: 0-1 Manchester City on the Gold Coast August 22: v Adelaide United in Darwin P: 1, W: 0, D: 0, L: 1, F: 0, A: 1 Melbourne Victory TBC P: 0, W: 0, D: 0, L: 0, F: 0, A: 0 Newcastle Jets August 5: v Central Coast Mariners (Venue TBC) P: 0, W: 0, D: 0, L: 0, F: 0, A: 0 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) P: 2, W: 2, D: 0, L: 0, F: 5, 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) P: 1, W: 1, D: 0, L: 0, F: 7, A: 0 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 August 23: v New Zealand A in New Plymouth P: 6, W: 3, D: 2, L: 1, F: 16, A: 10 Western Sydney Wanderers July 30: 3-0 Mt Druitt Town Rangers in Emerton (Bridge, Castelen, Ly) August 7: v Central Coast Mariners in Coffs Harbour P: 0, W: 0, D: 0, L: 0, F: 0, A: 0
Vukovic, who could make his debut in Tuesday's FFA Cup clash away to Balmain Tigers, has previously played with Central Coast Mariners, Wellington Phoenix and most recently Perth Glory. The 30-year-old stopper joined Victory after seeking an early release from his contract at Glory, after being disappointed and let down in the wake of the club's salary cap scandal. Vukovic linked up with Victory almost a month ago and has thoroughly enjoyed the professional environment at the so-called 'biggest club in Australia'. "For me, yes.It's no disrespect to any team I've played for, but it certainly is," Vukovic toldFourFourTwo Australiawhen asked if they were the most professional club he's been with in the A-League. "They leave no stone unturned when it comes to giving players what they need to be the best they can be out on the pitch. "They create a 'no excuse' environment, where all you need to do is worry about is your performance at training and in games. "As a professional footballer, that's something we all want and we're getting it here at Melbourne Victory." One of the other big reasons for Vukovic's move to Melbourne was to be closer to his family on the East coast.Vukovic and his wife Kristy welcomed their first son, Harley, into the world in Sydney four weeks ago. Kristy and Harley joined Danny in Melbourne last Wednesday as they fully settle into their new home and city. "It was difficult being away from him, but they're here now and we're settling in," he said."I'm loving being a father.It's tiring, but you always find a way to wake up and do what you have to do. "It's come at a good time with the season quite a few months away, and hopefully by then we'll be in a nice routine and getting some sleep." Vukovic is currently the only new face at Victory training following their 2014-15 A-League double. The shot-stopper will contend with Lawrence Thomas to be the club's number one and said he was keen to make his club debut against Balmain. "I'm fitter than I have been in a long time," he said."I want to play as many games as I can possibly.That starts this week against Balmain. "I started my own programs a lot earlier than the Melbourne boys, because they made the Grand Final and I was out after Round 27. "It was important I came ready to go and being in a new team you want to impress right from the start.Hopefully I've done that." Nathan Coe left Victory in the off-season, but it was Thomas who came into his own during the finals and kept a clean sheet in the decider against Sydney FC, meaning there's no guarantee Vukovic walks into the number one spot. "He's really impressed me in the three weeks I've been here," Vukovic said. "He's obviously had a taste of first-team football and he's shown he's very capable indeed of doing a good job for the team. "There's great competition here which is what Kevin Muscat would want, not only in the goalkeeping position but in every position on the park."
The Australian Financial Review revealed that documents lodged with the Australian Securities and and Investments Commission last week confirm the City Football Group's complete ownership of the A-League club. CFG previously had an 80% share in the club, but has paid up to secure the shares of minority ownersGerry Ryan, theowner of caravan group Jayco, Crownbet chief executive Matthew Tripp, sports entrepreneur Bart Campbell and New Zealand businessman Michael Witt. The four men owned the remaining 20% of the club when the deal was struck with previous Melbourne Heart owners in January of 2014. With CFG now owning 100% of the club, the option is now available for the consortium to truly shape and mold the club into how they see fit. City will be looking to improve on their mid-table finish in 2014-15, with the likes of Ivan Franjic, Michael Zullo, Corey Gameiro and Aaron Hughes brought in to help push for a first A-League trophy. In the meantime the club will face Edgeworth FC in the FFA Cup Round of 32 on Tuesday night.
Their opponents, selected from the ranks of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues (Qld), will be part of a blockbuster double header. The main event – the first match of the PS4 NPL 2015 Finals Series featuring the Queensland and Northern New South Wales Premiers. The two games will be played at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre at Nathan, with kick-off times to be confirmed. The Roar match is a joint initiative of Football Queensland and the A-League club, which will be just three weeks out from their season kick-off. Roar Head Coach John Aloisi said the match would be extremely important in his squad's preparations for Season 11. "The Roar is proud to be able to connect with clubs, players and fans in the National Premier Leagues and I encourage everyone to come along and watch what I am sure will be two fantastic matches," Aloisi said. Contenders for the Under-23 All-Stars squad will be nominated by head coaches at the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland clubs (excluding the Brisbane Roar Youth team and the eventual 2015 Premiers) and Football Queensland State Technical Director David Abela. The make-up of the final squad, and its coach, will be decided by a public vote via the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland website www.nplqld.com.au. Football Queensland Chief Operating Officer Graham Lee said the Brisbane Roar versus Under-23 All-Stars match was a clear example of the opportunities provided by PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland as the state’s talented player pathway. “This match is a great opportunity for the best young talent in Queensland to put themselves in the shop window and hopefully take the next step in their careers,” Lee said. “The National Premier Leagues are about player development and preparing the next generation of professional footballers and matches like this show that A-League clubs see the value in this competition.”
The move would ease the restrictions on A-League clubs’ recruitment and potentially allow the stronger clubs to spend more on foreign superstars. Under the current rules, A-League clubs can carry two players outside their salary cap, but one must be an Australian player (domestic marquee) and the other a foreigner (international marquee). Seven clubs had domestic marquees in 2014-15, but three have already exited this off-season, meaning there are six vacancies in the A-League. Only Central Coast, Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix don’t currently have international marquees and are unlikely to sign one given their financial constraints. “As part of our annual end of season review of the A-League that incorporates all stakeholders, FFA is considering the current rules around Marquee Players,” an FFA spokesperson told FourFourTwo. FourFourTwo understands a decision is likely to be made in the next few weeks. Mark Milligan (Bani Yas), Matt Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown) and Josh Kennedy (retired) have all moved on, leaving Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City searching for replacements. Beyond Tim Cahill, there are few genuine overseas-based Australian players who could fit the bill of why the domestic marquee was originally introduced in 2010. The FFA arbitrates the domestic marquee based on assessing criteria including the number of a player’s Socceroos appearances and their international/national profile. Mark Bresciano, James Troisi and Tomi Juric have been linked with A-League clubs this off-season as potential domestic marquees. The Professional Footballers’ Australia (PFA) confirmed to FourFourTwo that no discussions have taken place about a change to the marquee rules during the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) discussions with the FFA. However, the FFA is free to impose working conditions on A-League clubs, although the PFA would likely be consulted.
Despite having played only three competitive games this year, Ivan Franjic has declared he will be ready if Australia coach Ange Postecoglou calls on him for World Cup qualifiers in September. Franjic, who has returned home to play for Melbourne City after a tough season in Russia, has only started pre-season training this month, with the 2015-16 A-League campaign first beginning on October 8. Australia will face Bangladesh in Perth on September 3 and Tajikistan in Dushanbe five days later, but Franjic is not concerned by the dearth of competitive action between now and then. "If I get chosen, I'll be fit enough to be playing," he told Omnisport. Franjic completed 90 minutes for Australia in their 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan on June 16 - the first time he had done that since April 8 - as his country kick-started their bid to qualify for Russia 2018. Due to a raft of injuries in 2014-15, the 27-year-old only played four league games for Torpedo Moscow last term. Franjic could not ignore the opportunity for regular game-time when City came calling last month. "That was one of the reasons [for] coming back, I could have stayed in Europe or come back but I wanted to sort my future out before I went into the World Cup qualifiers," the versatile full-back said. "So [my goal this season is to play] as many games as possible and win a championship with Melbourne City and keep playing international [matches]." Franjic broke his contract with Torpedo in April due to unpaid wages but has seemingly put that chapter behind him. "It was difficult because I was injured 80 per cent of the time there, so the club wasn't happy that I was getting injured on international duty but that's football, it's part of the game, so I'm back now and looking forward to the season ahead," he said. Franjic has played 19 matches for Australia and was a key part of Postecoglou's squad that won the Asian Cup in January.
Melbourne City fans will have to wait to see Ivan Franjic make his debut but the Australia international reckons they can replace cross-town rivals Victory as A-League champions. Franjic signed a three-year deal with City last month but the 27-year-old has only recently begun pre-season training with John van 't Schip's squad, and he does not expect to play for his new club for "a couple of weeks". But with the versatile full-back joining the likes of fellow Socceroo Michael Zullo, Australia youth international Corey Gameiro and former Newcastle United defender Aaron Hughes in signing for City, Franjic is convinced the Melbourne-based club can win the title in 2015-16. Last season, City reached the A-League semi-finals before losing to eventual champions Melbourne Victory 3-0 in a derby clash. "Yeah, obviously we're looking strong, there's a couple more foreigners to come in but yeah, we'll be a good chance to win it [the A-League championship] and we're prepared to go all the way this year," Franjic told Omnisport on Wednesday. Franjic has not played since Australia's 2-1 World Cup qualifying win away to Kyrgyzstan on June 16. But having been given some extra time off following that international duty, the three-time A-League champion with Brisbane Roar does not expect to play in City's FFA Cup round of 32 tie away to Edgeworth on August 4. "It'll be the coaches' decision. I'll be ready but it'll be up to them," he said. Back living in his home town of Melbourne for the first time in six years, Franjic attended Hume City's 4-3 extra-time victory over Brisbane Strikers in the FFA Cup - his brother Joey plays for the victors, although he was not in action on Wednesday. Franjic was clearly impressed by the entertainment on offer at ABD Stadium. "I don't think I'll be playing the first game but it's an exciting tournament," he said. "I watched it last year from Russia, so I can't wait and hopefully the boys win next week - which I believe they will - and see who we get in the next draw; hopefully Hume."
FourFourTwo understands both parties are eager for a deal to be done given the time constraints, with the previous CBA expiring at the end of last month. While there has been no formal movement on the agreement, the process is at a fluid stage following reports of officials storming out of meetings last month. “Whilst we acknowledge that there are a number of hurdles to overcome the players believe these can be overcome and remain committed to establishing an agreement that delivers on the game’s enormous potential,” a PFA spokesperson told FourFourTwo. “We compete in a truly global market and the domestic sporting landscape is amongst the most competitive in the world and this agreement is vital in ensuring that Australian football can attract the best athletes and compete on the world stage." The PFA have sought a ‘whole-of-game’ agreement to cover all A-League, Socceroos and Matildas players. The commitment of the FFA to contract to the flexibilities of the CBA, such as the proposed loyalty player payment, has been the stumbling block according to the PFA. Meanwhile, it is understood no discussions have taken place about a change to the foreign marquee rule following reports of a switch to allow two overseas players outside the cap.
Hosts the Sharks showed their Cup credentials in 2014 while South are desperate to demonstrate why they belong on the big stage. Expect a ripper feature game to kick off Fox Sports' coverage of the Westfield FFA Cup 2015. MATCH DETAILS Palm Beach Sharks v South Melbourne FC Wednesday, 29 July 2015 Cbus Super Stadium, Robina (QLD) Kick-off:7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST) Referee:Alex King Assistant Referee1:Andrew Lindsay Assistant Referee2:Joseph Lee Fourth Official:James Sherry Tickets:Click herefor ticketing details TV broadcast:7.00pm (AEST) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 505 Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#PBSvSOM BLUFFER’S GUIDE Last season's FFA Cup sensations the Sharks are back at the impressive Cbus for a super opening night Fox Sports feature match on Match Day 1. In their way is former national powerhouse South Melbourne. The Victorian club is absolutely desperate to launch an FFA Cup charge that will propel them back onto the national stage. But the Sharks have one of the most admired coaches at PS4 NPL level in Grae Piddock, and he'll have his side superbly prepared for whatever Chris Taylor's men might have planned. This should be a rollicking Queensland v Victoria meeting to kick off broadcast coverage of the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup. PREVIEW: BLACKTOWN CITY v METROSTARS PREVIEW: BROADMEADOW MAGIC v HEIDELBERG UNITED PREVIEW: HUME CITY v BRISBANE STRIKERS WHAT THEY SAY Justyn McKay (Palm Beach captain) "Our success is based on being well-structured and organised. With Kristian [Rees] at the back we have a good foundation because he organises everything so we’re hard to break down. “But we have a lot of energy with our young players and good on the counter. We’re not the side that’ll pass it for fun because we don’t have those sorts of players but we’ll go from back to front quickly. We play to our strengths.And we’re better when we are underdogs.” Chris Taylor (South Melbourne coach): "Our fans have been desperate to get back onto the national stage and in an environment that we deserve,” he said. “South Melbourne, its history and the brand are quite significant in Australian football, so it’s great to have it once again on a national level. “The club, fans, volunteers, staff and board are extremely pleased, but also aware that there is plenty of hard work ahead.” WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW PALM BEACH SHARKS League:PS4 NPL Queensland Current ladder position:7th– won 7 / drawn 3 / lost 5 Latest result:Cruised to a 5-1 home win over lowly South West Queensland Thunder on Saturday night. Who to watch out for:Ethan Grimley SOUTH MELBOURNE League:PS4 NPL Victoria Current ladder position:3rd– won 14 / drawn 4 / lost 4 Latest result:Held to a 0-0 draw away to fifth-placed Pascoe Vale on Saturday night. Who to watch out for:Milos Lujic Palm Beach Sharks squad:1.Shane VIITAKANGAS (gk), 2.Matthew JONES, 3.Ben LITFIN, 4.John COSTELLO, 5.Martin VAZQUEZ, 6.Lochlan REUS, 7.Justyn McKAY, 8.Florian MATK, 9.Rees DUNCAN, 10.Joshua WALLEN, 11.Nikola MIRKOVIC, 12.Nikki FELIZATTO, 13.Joshua RIIS, 14.Ethan GRIMLEY, 15.Eoghan MURPHY, 17.Kristian REES, 18.Roman HOFMANN, 19.Tim JACKSON, 20.Andrew PURNELL-WEBB South Melbourne FC squad:1.Nikola ROGANOVIC (gk), 2.Tim MALA, 3.Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 4.Michael EAGAR, 5.Luke ADAMS, 6.Thomas LAKIC, 7.Nicholas EPIFANO, 8.Mathew THEODORE, 9.Milos LUJIC, 10.David STIRTON, 11.Bradley NORTON, 12.Iqbal JAWADI, 13.Dane MILOVANOVIC, 15.Cody MARTINDALE, 16.Andrew BEVIN, 19.Massimo PESCE, 20.Nicholas MORTON, 21.Jake BARKER-DAISH, 22.Fraser MACLAREN (gk), 23.Andy KECOJEVIC, 27.Leigh MINOPOULOS, 77.Stephen HATZIKOSTAS PHOTO: Palm Beach Sharks midfielder, Justyn McKay (footballaustralia.com.au)
MATCH DETAILS Hume City v Brisbane Strikers Wednesday, 29 July 2014 ABD Stadium (Broadmeadows Valley Park), Meadow Heights (VIC) Kick-off:7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST) Referee:Jonathan Barreiro Assistant Referee1:Wilson Brown Assistant Referee2:Jordan English Fourth Official:Lachlan Keevers Tickets:Click herefor ticketing details Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag#HCIvSTR BLUFFER’S GUIDE A huge crowd at the new-look Valley Park Broadmeadows is assured as first-time Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 outfit Hume City host last season’s round of 16 surprise packet, Brisbane Strikers. The Queensland club made history in 2014, winning the first-ever FFA cup watched broadcast live on Fox Sports and would love another Cup-run on the national stage. But Hume City has swept all before them on the way to the last 32 and their counter-attacking game is both effective and eye-catching. And they feature Daniel Clark, a former NPL Queensland striker, in great form as well as Jai Ingham also formerly ofthe Sunshine State. Buckle in for a rip-roaring affair on a blockbuster Match Day 1. WHAT THEY SAY Nick Hegarty (Hume City attacking midfielder) “The FFA Cup creates the excitement and for every footballer at whatever level, he has the chance of playing on the big stage. “Everyone dreams of the finances that come with a good FFA Cup run but most importantly for our club here in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and we’ve got to get our name out there. “We’ve got to be the local hub for everybody in the local area. If we can put some good results together it’ll help bring fans to our club to support us week in week out for the next 50-100 years.” Jonti Richter (Brisbane Strikers club captain) “With the Strikers being a former national league side, we want to do well to carry on that legacy. “But even from the club’s standpoint at the moment, the further we go the better it looks for Brisbane Strikers, for the Queensland NPL and Queensland as a whole. “We are going to do our best.” WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW HUME CITY FC League:PS4 NPL Victoria Current ladder position:6th- won 11/ drawn 5 / lost 6 Latest result:Lost 3-1 away to mid-table Green Gully on Saturday. Who to watch out for:Daniel Clark BRISBANE STRIKERS League:PS4 NPL Queensland Current ladder position:1st– won 11 / drawn 4 / lost 2 Latest result:Fought out a gritty 1-0 win at home against third-placed Olympic FC last Tuesday night. Who to watch out for:Jheison Macuace Hume City squad:1.Chris OLDFIELD (gk), 3.Shaun TIMMINS, 4.Isyan ERDOGAN, 5.Peter FRANJIC, 7.Jai INGHAM, 8.Theodore MARKELIS, 10.Joseph FRANJIC, 11.Ivan PAVLAK, 12.Daniel CLARK, 13.Shane REXHEPI, 15.Liam NEWMAN, 16.Matthew HENNESSEY, 17.Marcus SCHROEN, 19.Sam BENINATO, 20.Tom BANFIELD (gk), 21.Nikos JACKSON-TSEREXIDIS, 23.Josh MARKOVSKI, 25.Samuel CHAABANI, 30.Aydin SAYAN (gk), 31.Kristian TRAJCESKI, 34.Jordan FAHIM, 37.Jonas MARKOVSKI, 38.Danny FEDERICO, 39.Nicholas HEGARTY Brisbane Strikers squad:1.Xander GWYNN-JONES (gk), 2.Christopher MAHER, 3.Scot COULSON, 4.David SALIN, 5.Greg HENSLEE, 6.Joshua AHERN, 7.Keenan DUIMPIES, 8.Michael ANGUS, 9.Luke MARSH, 10.Apai UKUNO, 11.Sam KNIGHT, 12.Greg KING, 13.Cameron DRAPER, 14.Joshua MCVEY, 15.Fraser HILLS, 16.Jesse WEIMERS, 17.Bradley SAVAGE, 18.Trent CLULOW, 19.Jheison MACUACE, 20.Fraser CHALMERS (gk), 21.Jake MARSHALL,30.Michael TURNBULL (gk)
The 20-year-old youth international arrived in Gosford after two seasons with VVV-Venlo in the Eerste Divisie,Netherlands second tier. After a two-week trial with the Mariners, he inked his first A-League contract on Wednesday. “It's hard to tell whether a player with overseas experience has what it takes to play in the A-League, especially at such a young age,” coach Tony Walmsley said. “Holland is obviously a significant place to play football and at 20, Harry has already played first team football at VVV-Venlo. “His character, personality and work ethic immediately stood out then as we opened up the pitch size we got to see the scope of his ability and potential. “Harry is a long-term prospect but can he play and have an impact this season? I think so. He has some outstanding attributes and he's a top signing for our club,” he said. Ascroft, a former Kissing Point junior, began his professional career with a bang when he was scouted by the Netherlands club while playing for Sydney University. Comfortable as central defender or right back, he made seven first team competitive appearances for VVV-Venlo among other exhibition matches, including a hit out against Portuguese giants FC Porto. “It feels really good to join the Mariners and I’m really excited about the future,” Ascroft said. “Playing in the Netherlands was a great experience, I learned a lot and it allowed me to mature a lot as a player and as a person. “I’m a very relaxed, calm player. I like to keep things very simple and I always put in 110 per cent. “There are some quality players (here) so I am really looking forward to the season ahead." PHOTO: ccmariners.com.au
The cards are falling into place for overseas-based Socceroos as more continue to accept offers from European clubs. With Scott McDonald opting to re-sign with Motherwell and James Holland spurning the advances of Melbourne Victory to join Bundesliga 2 club MSV Duisburg – a club that once had Tiago Calvano on its books – the odds of any Europe-based Socceroos making a return to A-League football are lengthening by the minute. Meanwhile, an announcement on Tommy Oar’s new club is expected soon, with the winger sifting through a number of lucrative offers from English and continental clubs. Eredivisie’s Roda JC Kerkrade’s signing of former Perth Glory enforcer Rostyn Griffiths has disappointed Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat, who, it is believed, had approached the midfielder to directly replace departed captain Mark Milligan. It was going to take some creative accounting but one option was to move former international Carl Valeri to marquee status, clearing the way for the ECU Joondalup product to join the champion club. Staying with Victory and having failed in his pursuit of Holland and Griffiths, Muscat is said to be pulling out all stops to bring midfielder James Troisi back to Melbourne – this time on marquee wages. After months of soul-searching following his disastrous Grand Final display, Player Of The Year Milos Dimitrijevic has re-signed with Sydney FC, the club that had revived his career in 2014. It is believed that coach Graham Arnold had stayed in touch with Dimitrijevic throughout the midfielder’s hiatus with the family in France and Serbia in recent months and it is this personal contact and support that clinched the deal for the former youth international. Reports are emerging that Perth Glory have made a massive marquee offer to Tomi Juric following the loss of attacking players Andy Keogh, Mitch Nichols, Daniel De Silva and Jamie Maclaren in recent months. It is rumoured that the striker’s family are pushing for a lucrative deal that will set the striker up for life, which is one of the reasons it has taken a long time for the talented Asian Cup winner to put pen to paper with a club. Glory are also still chasing local boy Nikita Rukavytsya, who scored 16 A-League goals for Perth between 2007 and 2009 before embarking on his European adventure in which the striker netted just 12 times in over 100 games in Germany, Holland and Belgium. Still in Perth and former Burnley youth player Aryn Williams, currently plying his trade with NPL club Floreat Athena after failing to secure an A-League contract in 2014, has been asked to show his wares to coach Kenny Lowe as the club continues to rebuild. Williams has been trialling alongside Mariners’ discard Brent Griffiths and former Sydney FC leftback Marc Warren. Staying with the Western Australian theme and Socceroo goalkeeper Brad Jones is understood to be close to agreeing terms with English Championship club Preston North End - a deal that would allow him to remain close to his family in England’s north east. The club is keen to boost its goalkeeping stocks, with manager Simon Grayson also reportedly tracking former loanee and Manchester United #3 Sam Johnstone, currently on preseason tour with the Red Devils. Talented 19-year-old winger Taylor Tombides is training the house down at new club Hull City Tigers. Tombides, who tragically lost his brother Dylan to cancer in April 2014, spent time on loan with the club last season before being officially let go by West Ham United in June. Fitness was a problem but all that is behind him as the attacker has shed kilos to get his career back on track with the Hull Under 21s team. To the boardrooms and FFA find themselves between a rock and a hard place as they attempt to sort the match payments for glamour friendlies conundrum. PFA are pushing for a greater player revenue share of the cash-generating games but FFA are having a hard time deciding whether to include the money in the salary cap. The dilemma is simple – excluding the payments from the salary cap could encourage clubs to rort the system by sweetening player deals via the glamour friendly loophole while including them can potentially reduce cap room for the A-League season ahead, especially if A-League clubs gain entry into the lucrative International Champions Cup down the track. PFA insistence on 30% player share of all game revenues is proving a headache and feathers are said to be flying. And the rest: Olyroo midfielder Ryan Edwards has been trialling with English League 2 club Crawley Town FC but surprisingly received no game time in the club’s preseason friendly against former team Reading FC on Monday night…Socceroo Ollie Bozanic is edging closer to a Bundersliga 2 move…Adam Sarota may not have done enough to convince new coach Erik ten Hag that he has a future at Utrecht FC... with a number of billionaire A-League club owners having left the game in recent seasons, discussions are underway to create pathways for community club ownership…Sydney FC’s Alex Gersbach has gone down with a bout of glandular fever while former Mariners striker Matt Simon has been training with the club, though it is unclear if he is on trial or if Arnold is simply helping out an old protégé.
Newcastle Jets coach Scott Miller wants to make Hunter Stadium a fortress that other A-League clubs dread to enter. Miller has taken the reins at the Jets from Phil Stubbins and is trying to revamp the club that took out the wooden spoon last season. Since arriving in June the coach has made five new signings and currently has the squad on tour of northern NSW. Miller told FourFourTwo that preparations for the 2015-16 campaign are progressing well. “I want Hunter Stadium to become a stadium that no other team wants to travel to,” Miller said. “The team identity must suggest hard-to-beat, home and away – however at home rarely (should we) allow the opposition firstly to perform and secondly win. “At this current stage we are looking competitive. Our preparations are progressing well and I have been pleased with the players’ attitude to the challenge ahead. “It’s about the mentality – we need to increase the intensity at which we do things and, as a staff, review what works, improve it, challenge it and continuously drive this playing group. “I said to the players my first day ‘you will be under more pressure internally from the coaching staff to improve daily than you may ever have experienced, however the difference is we are here to support you.’ “For me it is simple – our performances on field need to reflect that of the personality of Newcastle. We cannot afford to take hard work and discipline for granted as I believe it will be one of our greatest strengths this season.” Former Adelaide United midfielder Cameron Watson has joined the Jets, along with Western Sydney pair Mateo Poljak and Labinot Haliti. Jason Hoffman has also returned to the club after four seasons with Melbourne City, and Lachlan Jackson has been signed from Brisbane Roar. Newcastle currently only has 18 players in its first-team squad, with no marquees, but Miller says he isn’t concerned about squad size but quality. “Numbers and squad size mean very little to some extent,” he said. “If I could have 21 quality, highly motivated, experienced players as opposed to 24 inexperienced players, that would be my preference. We have introduced and demonstrated that there is a pathway in place for the youth team to progress into the first-team environment. “At this stage we have had the entire youth team training with us twice, which was interesting as it provided me with the opportunity to review them from a different perspective. “Cameron joins the Jets and brings over 100 games in the A-League with him. My decision to recruit Cameron is because I believe he will provide the Jets with the midfield balance required and furthermore increase the competition for places in the midfield. “Watson, Poljak and (Ben) Kantarovski will be competing for starting positions weekly.” The Jets take on Perth Glory in the FFA Cup Round of 32 next month at Magic Park. Newcastle was knocked out of the competition at the same stage by the same opponent last season. Glory have been rocked in the past few months by several high-profile player departures following the salary cap scandal, including Andy Keogh, Scott Jamieson, Danny Vukovic, Jamie Maclaren and Jack Duncan. Miller said the Jets were looking forward to the clash and said squad recruitment was now at a point where training could focus on tactics ahead of the fixture. “The FFA Cup is a process in the development of the team,” Miller added. “It’s our first of many challenges this season. “My approach is simple – it’s a fixture-focused approach. Our team will be prepared for the Perth Glory Westfield FFA Cup match. “We will focus on our playing principle. My focus is not on Perth and what is happening off field there.” The Jets will kick off their new A-League campaign away from home against Wellington Phoenix on October 11. Miller said he and Senior Assistant Coach, Jean-Paul de Marigny (JP), want the team to play a “disciplined, controlled and measured” style of football this season. “(My goal is) to create a training ground environment and playing squad that reflects professionalism, discipline and respect,” he said. “JP and I demand top six training quality and professionalism every day in our preparations. Players and staff must feel empowered and take responsibility for their individual roles, and when we do this, we will be competitive. “The drive and mentality in the group is focused, it will only improve and momentum and belief will define our top six ambitions.”