Sydney FC has begun the task of rebuilding its Championship winning National Youth League team, with the club unveiling its first signings ahead of the coming season.
Sydney FC has begun the task of rebuilding its Championship winning National Youth League side, with the club unveiling its first signings ahead of the coming season.
After a highly successful debut season, Sydney has been forced to virtually start from scratch with its 2009/10 team.
“I think it (the team) will be as strong as last year. I think having a year under our belt in terms of working in the youth league and seeing how it operates will be beneficial,” said Youth League coach, Steve O-Connor. “I-m expecting a good standard – there are plenty of good players around in Sydney.”
Defender, Sam Munro is the only player that remained on a Youth League contact after the Sky Blues- Grand Final win in February, with five members of the side moving up to the first team and most others becoming ineligible due to their age.
He has been rejoined in this year-s squad by 2008/09 team-mate, Zach Cairncross. A regular replacement player last season – Kerim Bulut has also secured a contract, as has Blacktown Demons- player, Joel Chianese and Dimitri Petratos from Penrith United.
“We-ve only got five definites on the books at the moment and then we-ve got to see how the others fit into the jigsaw,” said O-Connor. “They-re young players, most of the ones I-ve signed. Some I-ve worked with last year, some I-ve seen playing in first team situations in the Premier League.”
“They-ve been playing regularly in the first team. For me if they-re good enough to play regular first team football then we should be looking to bring them in and try and develop them further. “
Having won the inaugural title in 2008/09, Sydney FC may take a slightly different tack into its second NYL campaign.
“It is challenging, and whether we have the same dynamic as last year in terms of what we-re looking to achieve – we-ll wait and see,” O-Connor explained. “Last year we were pretty much looking to win the Championship in the first year, now we may be looking more towards developing players for the first team. Obviously if we win it, terrific – we-re not going to go out not to win it – but we may structure the team a little differently. It-s like working on a jigsaw puzzle.”
Sydney FC has eleven places still to fill in its National Youth League team with each club allowed to sign up to sixteen players.
The expanded National Youth League competition is due to kick off in September.