Our Vision

Sydney FC launched its boys’ youth academy in 2015 and the club is extremely proud of the players and staff that have been involved since that time.

The vision and philosophy for the academy was created by Kelly Cross and has been overseen by Han Berger, Sydney FC Board Member.


To be recognised as Australia’s leading academy for attracting and developing talent.

This means talented coaches, sport scientists, analysts, etc, as well as talented players.

If we are successful, we aim to be able to continuously provide players for Sydney FC’s first team and Australian National Teams. We would also like to develop players who are able to progress from the A-League to overseas clubs at a higher level.

We will also aim to see our talented academy staff progress to positions of importance in football where they can have a positive impact.


In order to achieve our goals, we believe the best way is:

To provide a holistic, player-centred environment in which talented footballers develop their love of the game, learn to play the Sydney FC way and grow into valued people.


  • The Academy will conduct its affairs legally, ethically and safely.
  • In the future, the football world will look at Sydney FC and see it as a model to be learned from
  • Mindful of current ‘best practice’, but unwilling to blindly copy other Academies, we will look more to a vision of ‘next practice’, utilising an evidence-based approach to develop our own specific model. The Academy will be a ‘football laboratory’ in which ‘experiments’ are conducted, testing ideas for better ways to play football and to learn to play football
  • We will integrate research from all related disciplines (eg Skill Acquisition, Coaching, Pedagogy, Leadership, Organisational Theory, Culture, etc) into daily practice, while carrying out our own research into key areas of interest and relevance
  • Given that top players need to be:
    • comfortable operating in a complex environment, on the edge of chaos
    • innovative
    • creative
  • Rather than assuming players will want to be part of our Academy, we will ensure there are many persuasive reasons to come, as well as reasons to stay. The Sydney FC Academy should be the Academy of choice for the majority of young players in NSW.
  • Players will be educated to be responsible for their own development, in line with the Sydney FC first team environment.
  • The Academy will implement the highest standards in its processes of Talent Identification.
  • The Academy will strive to develop meaningful relationships with NPL clubs, Zones/Associations, schools and universities all across Sydney and NSW.
  • The Academy recognises the importance of social responsibility and by means of a holistic, player-centred environment will help prepare our young players for a career in football and/or beyond football, as well as aiming to develop them as valuable members of society.


  1. Clear philosophy on playing football and learning how to play football
  2. Good people
  3. Learning environment


Every big and successful football club has a clear identity that characterises them both on and off the field of play.

Yes, they are successful and results come first, but they also have a clear expectation of how these results should come about (a special/extra dimension).

The SYDNEY FC FOOTBALL PHILOSOPHY should therefore clearly express our identity and ‘DNA’ through the playing style of all our teams.


Sydney FC will play a RECOGNISABLE brand of football characterised by the key words:






with the objective to deliver SUCCESSFUL AND ATTRACTIVE football.

Our FOOTBALL IDENTITY isn’t underpinned by a particular formation but based upon uniform performance aspects during each of the so-called Main Moments of the game.

  • Sydney FC teams always want to control games and dominate opposition through technical and tactical superiority.
  • Sydney FC teams always want to control games and dominate opposition through technical and tactical superiority.
  • Kick and rush football (‘fightball’) is not our style although we acknowledge that mental and physical strength are essential aspects of today’s top football.
  • All Sydney FC teams and players are technically proficient and have a good understanding of both team tactics and individual roles.
  • Sydney FC players can ‘read’ the game, switch between formations and nullify opponents strengths or expose their weaknesses.
  • Our ATTACK starts from the back and our DEFENCE from the front and all our players are quick thinkers and problem-solvers with excellent handling speed