Hyundai A-League 2010 Champions Sydney FC has significantly boosted their attacking potency after signing Finland’s leading marksman Juho Makela to a 15-month deal.
Hyundai A-League 2010 Champions Sydney FC has significantly boosted their attacking potency after signing Finland-s leading marksman Juho Makela to a 15-month deal.
Born in Oulu, Finland, Makela comes to Sydney FC after another blistering season with HJK Helsinki in the Finnish Veikkausliiga, finishing as the league-s leading goalscorer with 16 goals in 18 appearances and taking out the Striker of the Year award.
Makela, who will arrive in Australia in early January, was previously awarded as the league-s top scorer in 2005. In three stints with HJK, where he also won three domestic titles, he has scored 64 goals in 129 matches.
Courted by HJK and clubs in Sweden, China and the United States- MLS, Makela chose the Sky Blues after experiencing the clubs facilities, coaching and playing staff and of course, the city in November this year.
Starting his career within his home-town team of Tervarit, Makela moved to HJK Helsinki for the 2003 season, scoring 33 goals in 66 appearances for the club over the next three seasons.
He signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Scottish side Hearts in 2006 where in 2007 he was loaned out to Swiss club FC Thun, before returning back to his former club HJK Helsinki in 2008 on an initial three month loan, which became a permanent return prior to the 2009 Veikkausliiga season.
Makela also represented the Finnish National team in 2004. Makela, who has a long term partner, boasts many interests outside of football including politics and economics. Click here for more on Makela.
Meanwhile, his soon to be teammates have the chance to quickly forget last weekend-s loss to the Central Coast Mariners when they take on league leaders Brisbane Roar in a crucial clash at the Sydney Football Stadium tomorrow (5pm kickoff).
Midfielders Nicky Carle (back) and Rhyan Grant (knee) are still sidelined by injury, but Brazilian striker Bruno Cazarine (back) and Alex Brosque (groin) are set to return to the fold, allowing coach Vitezslav Lavicka to deploy a nearly full-strength attack force against Ange Postecoglou-s in-form side.
“Bruno started full training with the team this week so he should be available. I think he is very close to be ready,” Lavicka said. “Brosquey has a special program but today he joined the team for full training so we will see how he is after that and make the final decision about him later.”
The Sky Blues will have their work cut out against a highly mobile Brisbane outfit boasting just one loss in twenty games this year.
“They probably play the best football in the A-League this season, so it-s a great challenge for us,” Lavicka said.
“We have respect for the Roar because they play very well but we also have a clear intention and a big desire to be successful, and a responsibility to the Sydney FC fans to show we are a good team and beat them.”
Captain Terry McFlynn said his charges were not to be intimidated by the Roar-s form thus far, and instead must concentrate on avoiding a repeat of the mistakes and lapses in concentration that lead to last Saturday-s drubbing on the Central Coast.
“After a performance like that last week we have to focus more on ourselves, make sure we get our game right. We-ve spoken about what we need to do, practised it in training this week, and now it-s all down to Sunday,” he said.
“It-s a challenge we-re relishing and looking forward to. (Last week-s loss) hurt everyone at the club; players, staff, the fans, so it-s up to us to get it right this Sunday and turn it around with a win.”
The loss against Central Coast took the wind out of Sydney-s sails after a resurge in form saw them climb to one point outside the top six. But even with this latest defeat, McFlynn insists the season is far from over for Sydney FC.
“We haven-t given up the prospect of making the finals; we-ll never give that up until it-s mathematically impossible. We-ve had a solid week of training and the mood in the camp is positive, very confident and we-re looking forward to the game,” he said.
In their previous encounters this season Sydney went down 1-0 away to the Roar in August, and in October earned a 1-1 draw at the SFS.
Sydney FC will be cooking up a storm before taking on the Roar, with a sausage sizzle from 3.30pm outside Gate A. $1 from every sausage sold will go to Football United, a not-for-profit organisation that helps improve the lives of refugee, migrant and indigenous youths and families.
Sydney FC v Brisbane Roar FC
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Local kick-off time: 5.00pm
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant referees: Scott Edeling and Sarah Ho
Fourth official: Alex Glasgow
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au.
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 16. Terry ANTONIS, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS
*three to be omitted*
In: 9. Bruno CAZARINE (promoted), 14. Alex BROSQUE (returns from injury)
Unavailable: Nicky CARLE (Back – 3 Weeks), Rhyan GRANT (knee – 1 week)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2. Matt SMITH, 3. Luke DEVERE, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 6. Erik PAARTALU, 7. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 9. Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 14. Rocky VISCONTE, 15. Matt McKAY (c) 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Luke BRATTAN, 20. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 22. Thomas BROICH, 23. Milan SUSAK
*one to be omitted*
In: 14. Rocky VISCONTE
Unavailable: 4. Shane STEFANUTTO (hamstring – 2 weeks), 8. Massimo MURDOCCA (groin – 1 week), 10. HENRIQUE (broken arm – 2-4 weeks)
Head-to-head: All matches (played 19): Sydney FC wins 5, Brisbane Roar wins 6 (8 draws)
· Having not lost any of their past 15 matches (a new Hyundai A-League record for longest undefeated streak), the Brisbane Roar are now aiming to go for 16 undefeated matches, which would be the equal-longest streak in the Australian national league since February 2001 when South Melbourne completed a 16 match undefeated streak in the old NSL.