Tallon-Henniker Could Join A Select Group Of Sydney Derby Debutants

New Sydney FC signing Caley Tallon-Henniker is a chance to make her A-League Women’s debut at the Sydney Derby this Saturday night.

If she does she will be added to a select group who have made their opening A-League appearance for Sydney FC against their cross-town rivals.

On the bench against Canberra United two weeks ago, the 18-year-old midfielder’s Liberty A-League debut didn’t materialise due to poor weather conditions in the country’s capital, but it could very well this weekend.

It got us thinking who else have made their debuts in a Sydney Derby, so we took a look back at some of the players Tallon-Henniker will join, many of whom have become club legends, international stars, and household names for Australian football fans.



Brazilian powerhouse and championship winner Bobo scored 71 times in 120 matches for the Sky Blues. He started his A-League career with Sydney FC against the Wanderers in front of 61,880 people at Accor Stadium Australia, where he scored in the 55th minute in a 4-0 victory against their cross-town rivals. He would go on to score four more times in the Sydney Derby until he retired at the end of the 2021/2022 season, capping off a shining career, winning two Premierships, one Championships and an Australia Cup with the club.

Bobo v Western Sydney Wanderers in 2017

Josh Brillante

Current Wanderer Josh Brillante similarly started his Sydney FC career in the Sydney Derby at Accor Stadium which became the biggest game of his career. The defender would play until the conclusion of the 2018/2019 season, finishing his club stint with our Grand Final penalty victory over Perth Glory. Brillante played over 100 times for the club, recording nine Sydney derbies, scoring his third-ever A-League goal in the October 2017 version.  He will play his second derby in the red and black on Saturday.

Bernie Ibini-Isei

Bernie Ibini played in his first A-League match for the Sky Blues against the Wanderers in front of over 41,000 people in 2014. The forward would play four derbies for the Sky Blues, scoring a memorable equaliser in Sydney FC’s 1-all draw against Western Sydney in 2014. He would win the Double with the Sky Blues in 2016/2017 before moving overseas and returning to play for the Jets and the Wanderers. When playing for the Western Sydney side, he would never win against his former side.

Dylan Caton

Dylan Caton has a different story to the other players on the list. He only played for Sydney FC twice, making his debut in the Sydney Derby in 2014 when he substituted for Alessandro Del Piero in the 81st minute. But after departing the Sky Blues after the 2014/2015 season, Caton moved to the US, where he studied at Santa Clara University as a full-time student-athlete. After six years in the US, the right-back returned to Australia and is currently working in the financial sector. 

Dylan Caton against Adelaide United in 2014

Alex Wilkinson

After making 216 appearances for the Mariners and City, Alex Wilkinson played his Sky Blue debut in front of the largest A-League crowd ever, where he kept a clean sheet in Sydney FC’s 4-0 thrashing of the Wanderers. The defender would play 220 more times for the club, including 21 derbies and becoming the fourth-most-capped Sky Blue. He won nine times, with six draws and six defeats. Wilkinson would also win three Championships, three Premierships and an Australia Cup with Sydney FC and was named three times in the A-League Team of the Year.

Wilkinson wearing the captain armband in the 2021 Derby

Michael Zullo

Like Wilkinson, Brillante and Bobô, Michael Zullo made his Sydney FC debut against the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2016. After that match, he made over 100 appearances for the Sky Blues, winning three Championships and three Premierships, plus and Australia Cup. The left back would also play eight more derbies, only losing once. Zullo retired from Sydney FC after the 2021/2022 season, capping off a successful career that saw him play for the Socceroos.


Ally Green

After an ankle injury kept Ally Green off the pitch for the majority of the 2017/2018 season, Green kicked off her A-League Women’s career when she took on the Wanderers, winning 3-0 in 2018. Green was subbed on for the final ten minutes but became a crucial part of the 2018/2019 Championship-winning team, who defeated Perth Glory 4-2. Green continued to feature in the side through the 2022/2023 season, playing in three grand finals and seven Sydney derbies. The defender moved to Danish side AGF and has since played for New Zealand on multiple occasions, helping them qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Remy Siemsen

Remy Siemsen began her A-League Women’s career against the Wanderers, in November 2016, and immediately showed her attacking flare, clocking in three shots, and troubling the goalkeeper twice. Although she didn’t score in the match, she would score six more times for the Sky Blues against the Wanderers in 11 appearances, winning 10 times. The dynamic striker now plays her football in England for Leicester City, having 14 games under her belt. Siemsen has gone on to play for the Matildas seven times, assisting one goal in their Asian Cup campaign against Thailand in 2022.

Remy Siemsen and Cortnee Vine celebrating against the Wanderers

Cortnee Vine

One of Sydney FC’s marquee players, Cortnee Vine played for the Roar, Jets and Wanderers until she joined the Sky Blues in 2020, and debuted in Sydney FC’s 3-0 drubbing against her former side. She also slotted the opening goal, 27 minutes in. Vine has made 55 appearances since then, playing in six derbies, winning one Championship and three Premierships, and never losing against our cross-town rivals. The striker is also a familiar face in the Matildas squad, appearing 24 times and scoring goals against South Africa, Spain, and, most notably, France in the World Cup.

Clare Wheeler

Now Everton starter, Clare Wheeler started her Sky Blue stint in the 2021/2022 season, playing against the Wanderers in her opening match, where they won 2-0. She would win the Premiership with Sydney FC that season before she departed for Europe. After a season with Danish club Fortuna Hjørring, she signed with Super League side Everton, where she has since made 41 appearances for the side. Wheeler has also appeared for the Matildas in Olympic qualification and the Asian Cup.

Jada Whyman

Sydney FC’s number one choice goalkeeper, Jada Whyman started her professional career against the Sky Blues, playing for the Wanderers until the conclusion of the 2017/2018 season, where she was named the Player of the Year and Members Player of the Year at the club. In 2020, she debuted for the Sky Blues against the Wanderers, recording a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory. Whyman continues to play for Sydney FC where she has recorded seven clean sheets, including one against Western Sydney in the opening match of the season.  The Wagga Wagga local, is currently on Matildas duty.

Whyman in 2022 against the Wanderers

Match Details:
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
Liberty A-League Round 19
Saturday, 2nd March, 2024
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta, NSW
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (AEDT)
Gates Open: 4:00PM (AEDT)
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ and 10Play