With the Sydney FC Isuzu-Ute A-League squad back in pre-season training this morning, we took the chance to sit down with Head Coach Steve Corica to find out more about his plans for his squad make-up this season and how things are progressing on the transfer front….
How is the squad shaping up?
It’s good, we have 18 players now and are looking to bring in at least four new faces in the coming weeks.
This will really strengthen our squad by the start of the new season in October.
Some of the boys came back today for their first day at training, but some who have been away with national squads are still on holiday and others playing with our National Premier League side.
They will all be back by 11th July and hopefully we’ll also have a new face or two by then.
How many players would make an ideal squad number?
I think we need around 24 players in our squad which includes some of our young players on scholarship. I think that is the perfect number to have over a season in the A-League, taking into account injuries and suspensions.
It gives us good competition for places in the squad.
What news on new incoming overseas players?
We are progressing well and are close to bringing in some new faces. Hopefully we should have more news next week, but even if we don’t we won’t hit the panic button.
There are some excellent players out there who we are in talks with but there are new opportunities presenting themselves every day.
We want to make sure we take our time and assess all our options which we have always done in the past.
We still have four foreign spots available.
Are you concerned not to have made any fresh signings yet?
We have brought in five players from the Academy who are fresh and ready for an opportunity to show what they can do within the A-League squad.
In terms of other players, I’m not worried. It’s very important to take time and not to rush these things, particularly with doing due diligence on overseas players.
In the past, much of our major recruitment (eg. Mierzejewski, Bobô, Le Fondre, Ninkovic, Brattan, De Jong) has been done in late July, August and September and we are still three months from the start of the season, so we have plenty of time.
We have the Australia Cup competition coming up, but we still need to make sure we don’t compromise our season and rush our recruitment.
What positions are you looking for with the new faces and overseas players?
We are looking for a left back, a centre-back, a striker, plus a new number 10 to give us good cover in all positions.
How confident are you about the young players?
They’ve been doing very well at National Premier League level and they’ve all looked very good when they’ve joined us in recent months at training.
Adrian Segecic and Jaiden Kucharski have been scoring a lot while Aaron Gurd and Jake Girdwood-Reich have both looked extremely comfortable and strong defensively at this level.
Corey Hollman has been injured recently but I’ve seen how well he has played when he’s stepped up to train with us in recent months.
It’s time for them to step up from the NPL to A-League level and show us what they can do.
Australia Cup draw against Central Coast Mariners in a month’s time – how did you respond to that draw?
It’s an A-League team so it will be challenging. We played them in the semi-final last year and this will be our first real test of the season. But we’re at home and we are looking forward to the game.