Having made a number of big changes over the last two months and freshened up his squad, Sky Blues Head Coach Graham Arnold believes Sydney FC’s new look team contains a number of top quality new signings.
The addition of Bernie Ibini to complement the stocks of Filip Holosko and David Carney, along with the experience Danny Vukovic to contend for the number one position with Vedran Janjetovic, has Arnold believing the competition for places will get the best out his squad ahead of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.
“I’m very happy with where we’re at recruitment wise at the moment,” said Arnold, who has also added Socceroos Alex Wilkinson, Josh Brillante and Michael Zullo to his ranks.
“I want two players for every position, two quality players for the players to push themselves to another level.
“It’s about the team is number one, the individual is number two. It’s about pushing each other the whole way to be successful as a team, the best will play.”
Arnold said his selection between Vukovic and Janjetovic for who starts between the posts will be based purely on form, as he also expressed his excitement at working with Bernie Ibini for another season.
“They’re both number one goalkeepers, and it’s been made clear to both of them that the one in form will play,” Arnold said.
“Bernie had a tough season last year injury wise. We’re expecting Bernie to be back at his best, it will take a little bit of time but by the end of August he should be hitting his straps.
“For me I made no secret in the past, he’s a player that excites me enormously and he excites the fans around Australia not only Sydney FC fans.
“I think one of their biggest memories of Bernie is the goal he scored against Western Sydney Wanderers out at Pirtek and that’s what Bernie adds not only to Sydney FC and the fans but also Australia football and we’re very, very happy to have him back.
“It’s good to have these two boys at Sydney, two boys who have played at the national team, two boys who have won Championships and have been successful in their own right.”
While a marquee is yet to be signed, Arnold confirmed the Sky Blues were looking for a number nine to strengthen their forward line as he revealed the extensive list of players put forward to the club.
“The marquee will be a number nine for sure, the players know that, it’s just a matter of finding him,” Arnold said.
“It will be a player that’s outside the cap, whether it’s a big name or not, that’s another thing but the most important thing is that it will be a player who’s going to come here and perform and hopefully score 15 goals plus.
“It will take time. It’s a long list,” he continued.
“Yesterday when we counted we’ve had 158 put forward and we’ve analysed and looked at 158 of them so it’s a matter of getting the right one and the one that will fit in to our environment.”
Sydney FC are next in action against the Macarthur Rams at Campbelltown Stadium on Tuesday 26 July (kick off 7:30pm). Tickets are priced at $12 for adults, $5 for children and concessions and $25 for a family.