Sydney FC

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This article is about the men's association football team. For the women's association football club, see Sydney FC W-League.
Sydney FC
Logo
Full name Sydney Football Club[1][2]
Nickname(s) Sky Blues
Founded 2004
Ground Allianz Stadium
Ground Capacity 45,500
Owner David Traktovenko
Chairman Scott Barlow
Head Coach Graham Arnold
League A-League
2013–14 A-League, 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

Sydney Football Club,[2] commonly known as Sydney FC, is an Australian professional soccer club based in Sydney, New South Wales. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under license from Football Federation Australia.[3] Having won two A-League Championships (in 2006 and 2010) and one Premiership (2009–10) Sydney FC are considered one of Australia's most successful teams, and one of the biggest football clubs in the country.[3] Sydney also remain the only A-League team ever to win the OFC Champions League, a feat they achieved in 2005 – since 2006 A-League teams have competed in the Asian Champions League. Sydney FC participated in the group stage of this tournament in 2007 and 2011. Having won titles in the W-League and in the National Youth League Sydney hold the distinction of being the only club to have won the A-League alongside its two affiliated competitions.

The club's home ground is Allianz Stadium, a 45,500 seat multi-use venue in the suburb of Moore Park.[4] As the only A-League team in the city for the first seven years of its existence, the club's fans hail from all across Sydney. Since its establishment, Sydney FC has had a reputation for signing high-profile players.[5] Notable players who have represented the club include Dwight Yorke, Juninho Paulista, John Aloisi, Brett Emerton and Alessandro del Piero.

History[edit]

Main article: History of Sydney FC

Foundation[edit]

Sydney FC playing the Los Angeles Galaxy at ANZ Stadium during 2007.

The first steps towards the foundation of Sydney FC were taken in April 2004 when Soccer New South Wales (now Football NSW) announced their intention to bid for a licence in the new A-League competition.[6] The bid was lodged with the Australian Soccer Association (now Football Federation Australia) on 19 July, challenged only by a consortium headed by Nick Politis, known as the "Sydney Blues",[7] for Sydney's place in the 'one team per city' competition.[8] A public row broke out between the two bidders after reports that the ASA were set to vote in favour of Sydney FC,[9] causing Politis to withdraw his support for a team,[10] and leaving Sydney FC as the only candidate remaining.

Sydney was officially launched as a member of the new 8-team A-League on 1 November 2004, with a 25% stake in the club held by Soccer NSW, the remainder privately owned.[11] Walter Bugno was announced as the inaugural chairman of the club. On 11 December 2004, Soccer NSW announced that it would pull out of its involvement with Sydney FC amid concerns over part owner Frank Lowy's autocratic style in establishing the club and lack of consultation with Soccer NSW on key Sydney FC issues. These included the choice of the Sydney Football Stadium over Parramatta Stadium as the team's home ground, and the erosion of Soccer NSW's initial 100 per cent involvement to just 25 per cent.[12]

By February 2005, Sydney had filled 16 of their allowed 20 squad positions—attracting Socceroos Alvin Ceccoli, Clint Bolton, Steve Corica and David Zdrilic as well as youth internationals Justin Pasfield, Mark Milligan, Wade Oostendorp, Iain Fyfe and Jacob Timpano.[13] German Pierre Littbarski was signed as Head Coach, to be assisted by former Norwich City player Ian Crook. Sydney FC played its first ever match against Manly United FC on 25 March 2005, winning 6–1.[14] Shortly after, Sydney set off on a tour to the United Arab Emirates to play matches against local teams FC Hatta, Al Ain FC and Al Jazira, winning all three.[15][16][17] Whilst in Dubai, Sydney FC announced that they had agreed to terms with former Manchester United player Dwight Yorke to join Sydney as their "marquee player" – one paid outside of the $1.5 million salary cap — for two seasons.[18]

Pre-League[edit]

Sydney FC's first competitive match was against Queensland Roar at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford as part of an Australian qualifying tournament to enter the 2005 Oceania Club Championship. After winning the match 3–0, Sydney went on to defeat Perth Glory and the Central Coast Mariners to qualify for the Oceania Club Championship, to be held in Tahiti. Despite an early scare against New Zealand club Auckland City FC,[19] Sydney won all of their matches in the competition and qualified for the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan. The start of the 2005 Pre-Season Cup marked Sydney FC's first match at Allianz Stadium, as well as Dwight Yorke's first appearance for the club—Yorke scoring the first goal of Sydney's 3–1 win which stretched their unbeaten run to 9 competitive matches (15 including friendlies). Upon reaching the semi-finals, Sydney's unbeaten run finally ended at 11 with Perth Glory midfielder Nick Ward scoring in injury time to inflict the new club's first ever loss.[20]

A-League[edit]

Sydney FC's first season was ultimately a success. Finishing 2nd on the ladder behind Adelaide United they went on to defeat Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the 2006 A-League Grand Final with Steve Corica scoring in the second half. However their success wouldn't last long, with German manager Pierre Littbarski leaving the club due to being forced to accept a lower pay cheque[21] and inaugural marquee player Dwight Yorke being signed by Premier League club Sunderland. Former English international Terry Butcher was signed as their new coach for the 2006–07 season, however it was regarded as an overall failure, with Sydney playing poor football, despite the signing of Alex Brosque and Benito Carbone as a Guest player. Sydney also had 3 points taken away during the season, after it was found that they had breached the Salary cap, involving player David Zdrillic.[22] Despite the off field problems, Sydney scraped into the finals series, however lost out in the semi final to Newcastle Jets. Despite him leading Sydney into the finals, Sydney fans were unhappy with Butchers tactics, and both Butcher and Sydney FC went their separate ways. Sydney would then sign Branko Čulina for their 2007 Asian Champions League campaign, where they finished second in the group, one point behind ultimate champions and J-League heavyweights Urawa Red Diamonds. Despite the ACL success, Sydney FC's start to the 2007–08 season was poor, and the club sacked him, replacing him with former Adelaide United manager John Kosmina. Sydney FC played well for the rest of the season, but got knocked out in the finals by Brisbane Roar.

Kosmina couldn't repeat the success of the previous season, replacing Brazilian international Juninho with Socceroos hero John Aloisi on a million dollar contract. Aloisi didn't perform well at all during the season, and came under heavy fire. So too did manager Kosmina, whose tactics were seen as controversial, and his relationship with the media, often becoming angry and frustrated, didn't help causes either. Many players fell out of favour with the coach, including Steve Corica and Clint Bolton. For the first time in the club's history, they failed to make the play-offs. As a result Kosmina was fired, and new Owners were brought in – Russian billionaire David Traktovenko. The fresh change at the club was about to bear fruit, when Sydney announced they had signed Czech Republic manager Vítězslav Lavička. Lavicka completely changed the structure of the club, and for its first time turning it into a serious, European style football club. He kept faith in Steve Corica and John Aloisi and several others who had threatened to walk out on the club, and as a result, Sydney FC won its first premiership in the club's history. Sydney made it to the Grand Final of the 5th season of the A-League after defeating Wellington Phoenix in the preliminary final. The Grand Final was played against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Sydney took the lead after 61 minutes through a Mark Bridge header, just seconds after Melbourne had a goal disallowed for offside. Melbourne equalised through Adrian Leijer in the 81st minute, and the game went on to a penalty shootout with no goals scored in extra time. Melbourne skipper Kevin Muscat missed his penalty, with his shot hitting the post. Sydney FC won the Grand Final 4–2 on penalties which handed them their second Hyundai A-League Championship.

Sydney FC playing against the Newcastle Jets on October 2012.

For the 2012/2013 season the club acquired the services of Alessandro Del Piero.[23][24] He will be paid $2 million for each year and become the highest-paid footballer to ever play in the A-League.[25]

"This is huge for Sydney FC, huge for the A-League and huge for Australian football [sic]," Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow said.
"We feel honoured that Alessandro has decided to play for Sydney FC and we share his excitement that a move to Sydney FC will create a lasting legacy for football in this country."

For the 2013/2014 pre season, the club became the first club in A-League history to tour in Europe, as Sydney toured in Venice, Italy where the club played against Del Piero's first professional club, Padova, Udinese Calcio, Vicenza Calcio, A.S. Cittadella, Venezia and Reggiana.

On 8 October 2014, Brosque was announced as the captain of Sydney FC for the 2014–15 A-League season, alongside vice-captains Saša Ognenovski and Nikola Petković.[26]

Colours and badge[edit]

The primary club colour of Sydney FC is sky blue, which represents the state colour of New South Wales. The secondary club colour is navy blue, with additional contrasting colours of orange and white.

The Sydney FC badge was created and used since the clubs founding in 2004. It features a football set centrally in a stylised crest shape. Above the ball is the shape of three shells of the Sydney Opera House, an internationally recognisable symbol of the city of Sydney. Below the ball is the Commonwealth Star, a seven-pointed star symbolising the Federation of Australia.[1]

Sponsorship[edit]

Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor Minor Sponsor
2005–2007 Reebok Healthe HBA Insurance
2007–2009 Bing Lee,
JVC
2009–2011 Bing Lee,
Sony
MBF Health Insurance,
Pulsar
2011–12 Adidas UNICEF[27] Sydney Children's Hospital,
CMRI[28]
2012–14 Webjet Destination NSW,
Caltex
2014– Startrack,
Beechwood

Stadium[edit]

Sydney FC play their home matches at Allianz Stadium (commonly known as SFS[29]), located in the Sydney suburb of Moore Park. It was built in 1988 to be the premium "rectangular field" for rugby league matches. It is also now used for soccer and rugby union for major matches and domestic competition.

It has been the venue for several Australian international matches (notably World Cup Qualifier against Argentina in 1993). The stadium's capacity was stated at 41,159 prior to renovations in 2007, although the attendance of the 2006 A-League grand final exceeded this number by over 500. The currently stated capacity is 45,500.

Sydney FC have played matches at other Sydney venues. Parramatta Stadium in western Sydney was the venue for an AFC Champions League match against Indonesian football side Persik Kediri in April 2007 when the SFS was unavailable due to an NRL match being played there. A friendly match against Los Angeles Galaxy was played at ANZ Stadium in November 2007 due to its greater capacity, and drew a crowd of 80,295. However, as of 2012 these districts are now represented in the A-League so such a move would be unnecessary. In December 2011, Sydney played a (2–0 winning) match at Kogarah Oval against Brisbane Roar, as the SFS was unavailable due to concerts being held at the ground that weekend.

Panorama of Allianz Stadium prior to Sydney FC defeating Melbourne Victory 2–0 to win the 2009–10 Hyundai A-League Premiership in front of 25,407 fans

Training ground[edit]

Sydney FC's primary training ground is at Macquarie University in North Ryde where they use the grounds, and they also have use of the sports and aquatic centre for post match recovery sessions. Occasionally Sydney will train at the SFS and have been seen after home games having recovery sessions at local beaches such as Coogee Beach, Bondi Beach and Maroubra.

Supporters[edit]

Sydney supporters at the northern end at the Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC draw support from right across Sydney, and is one of the most heavily supported clubs in Australia, as they were the only A-League team from Australia's largest city until 2012. The largest supporter group of Sydney FC is known as "The Cove",[30] and are located at the Paddington (northern) end of Allianz Stadium in bays 22 – 26. The name came from the original name given to the colonial settlement of Sydney — Sydney Cove.

Cove members attend every home match and also travel as a group around the country to support the team at away matches. As a vocal group, The Cove demonstrates its support by singing football chants, wearing club colours, standing up, waving flags and holding banners. On 7 July 2006, Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes recorded a club song entitled 'Sydney FC For Me' with 25 members of The Cove singing back-up vocals.[31] It was released prior to the start of the 2006–07 season.

Rivalries[edit]

See also Sydney FC league record by opponent

  • Melbourne Victory — The Big Blue — The clash between Australia's two largest cities is considered the biggest rivalry in the League by both sets of fans.[citation needed] Sydney and Melbourne have been rivals on many fronts for over a century.
  • Western Sydney Wanderers — The Sydney Derby  — With the introduction of the Wanderers into the competition, Sydney FC now contest a true local derby for the first time. The two teams played their first match on 20 October 2012 at the Wanderers' home ground, Parramatta Stadium. Sydney FC won the match 0–1 in front of a near-capacity crowd of 19,126 fans. On 15 December 2012 in the following derby, the Wanderers defeated Sydney FC 2–0 away from home, and the two teams went on to draw 1–1 at the Wanderers' home ground during the third encounter.

Affiliated clubs[edit]

  • China Shanghai Shenhua — In December 2008 Sydney management released a statement that Sydney had signed a permanent sister-club relationship with Chinese Super League Club Shanghai Shenhua, both clubs will trade players, as well as coaching tips and medical and training methods.[32]

Current squads[edit]

Senior squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Ivan Necevski
2 Australia DF Sebastian Ryall
3 Australia DF Saša Ognenovski (vice captain)
4 Australia DF Pedj Bojić
5 Australia DF Matthew Jurman
6 Serbia DF Nikola Petković (vice captain)
7 Australia FW Corey Gameiro
8 Serbia MF Miloš Dimitrijević
9 New Zealand FW Shane Smeltz
11 Australia FW Bernie Ibini-Isei (on loan from Shanghai Dongya)
12 Australia MF Hagi Gligor
13 Australia MF Chris Naumoff
No. Position Player
14 Australia FW Alex Brosque (captain)
16 Australia DF Alex Gersbach
17 Australia MF Terry Antonis
18 Australia MF Peter Triantis
19 Australia MF Nick Carle
20 Australia GK Vedran Janjetović
21 Austria FW Marc Janko
22 Iraq MF Ali Abbas
23 Australia MF Rhyan Grant Knee
28 Australia MF Max Burgess
30 Australia GK Anthony Bouzanis

Youth squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
25 Australia DF Aaron Calver
26 Australia FW Josh MacDonald
28 Australia FW George Blackwood
29 Australia MF Max Burgess
30 Australia GK Anthony Bouzanis
36 Australia DF Themba Muata-Marlow
Australia GK Luke Babic
Australia DF Daniel Petkovski
Australia DF George Timotheou
No. Position Player
Australia DF Jacob Tratt
Australia MF Dylan Caton
Australia MF Nicola Kuleski
Australia MF Anthony Tomelic
Australia MF Christopher Zuvela
Australia FW Bai Antoniou
Australia FW Daniel Araujo
Australia FW Jordan Tsekenis
Australia James Andrew

Academy[edit]

On 21 December 2009, Sydney FC inaugurated an elite academy to develop young players. The main goal of the academy was stated as to produce better players by providing technical and tactical knowledge, as well as to identify potential new talent that could represent Sydney in the National Youth League and A League in future. This began a continued commitment from Sydney to invest in and develop junior talent for the benefit of grassroots soccer. The initial 26 players taken in were drawn from the NSW State League clubs and consisted of junior players aged between 14–18 years old. They started training with the academy at Macquarie University.[33]

Captains[edit]

Captains by Years (2005–present) A-League games only.

Name Nat Period
Mark Rudan Australia 2005–07
Tony Popovic Australia 2007–08
Steve Corica Australia 2008–10
Terry McFlynn Northern Ireland 2010–13
Alessandro Del Piero Italy 2013–14
Alex Brosque Australia 2014–

Club officials[edit]

Management[edit]

Position Name
Chairman Scott Barlow
Director Michael Crismale
Director Jamie Samaha
Director Mark Arbib
Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata
Chief Financial Officer Adam Santo
General Manager, Digital, Media and Communications David Warriner
General Manager, Commercial Nic Barbato
General Manager, Marketing and Community Rawya Jammal

Technical staff[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach Australia Graham Arnold
Assistant Coach Australia Rado Vidosic
Strength/Conditioning Coach Australia Andrew Clark
Goalkeeping Coach Australia Željko Kalac
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Ameer Ibrahim
Club Doctor Dr Ameer Ibrahim
Club Physio Stan Ivancic
Assistant/Masseur Joe Niutta
Youth Head Coach Australia Steve Corica
Youth Assistant Youth Coach Australia Miro Vlastelica
Youth Goalkeeping Coach Italy Davide Del Giovine
Youth Physiotherapist Abid Mujala
Youth Team Manager Michael Swibel

Head Coaches[edit]

Name Period Record Honours
Pld W D L %
Germany Pierre Littbarski Feb 2005 – June 2006 24 12 7 5 50% A-League Champions: 2005–06
OFC Champions League: 2005
England Terry Butcher July 2006 – February 2007 23 9 8 6 39%
Australia Branko Culina April 2007 – October 2007 9 2 3 4 22%
Australia John Kosmina October 2007 – March 2009 35 13 11 11 37%
Czech Republic Vítězslav Lavička February 2009 – May 2012 89 35 22 32 39% A-League Premiers: 2009–10
A-League Champions: 2009–10
England Ian Crook May 2012–11 November 2012 6 2 0 4 33%
Australia Steve Corica (caretaker) 12 November 2012 – 27 November 2012 2 0 0 2 0%
Australia Frank Farina 28 November 2012 – 23 April 2014 47 19 8 20 40%
Australia Graham Arnold 8 May 2014 – current 8 5 2 1 62%

Records[edit]

For more details on this topic, see List of Sydney FC records and statistics.

Terry McFlynn currently holds the team record for number of total games played with 179 matches. Clint Bolton has the second most appearances for the club with 109 matches. Steve Corica are Sebastian Ryall are the third most capped players with 107 matches.

Sydney FC's all-time highest goalscorer in all competitions is Alex Brosque with 30 goals. The player with the second most goals scored is Alessandro Del Piero with 24 goals. Steve Corica has scored the third most goals for the club with 23.

Sydney FC's highest home attendance at Sydney Football Stadium is 40,388 for a league Sydney Derby match on 26 October 2013. The highest home attendance at any stadium is 80,295 for a friendly match against LA Galaxy at Stadium Australia on 27 November 2007.

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Premiers (1): 2009–10
Runners-Up (1): 2005–06
  • A-League Finals Series
Champions (2): 2006, 2010

International[edit]

Champions (1): 2005
Group Stage (2): 2007, 2011
Fifth-place (1): 2005

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About Us". Sydney FC. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Sydney Football Club Pty Ltd ACN 110 877 668". Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "A-League owners to be offered far longer licenses by Football Federation Australia". www.adelaidenow.com.au. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "Australian Stadiums: Aussie Stadium". Austadiums. Retrieved 22 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Sydney FC emerging as new league's glamour club". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 October 2004. Retrieved 22 December 2006. 
  6. ^ "Soccer NSW announces bid for new national league". Soccer NSW. 7 April 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  7. ^ "Kewell major player behind Sydney team: report". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 September 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  8. ^ Smith, Peter (21 July 2004). "ASA delighted with number of bids for new league". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  9. ^ "ASA picks Soccer NSW". The World Game. 10 September 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  10. ^ Hall, Matthew (10 October 2004). "Harry now a Central figure". The Sun Herald. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  11. ^ "Birth of Sydney FC is a magical moment". Football Federation Australia. 1 November 2004. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  12. ^ "NSW 'cut ties' with new club over Lowy". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 December 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  13. ^ "Sydney FC squad list". Sydney FC. 23 February 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  14. ^ "Sydney FC starts with emphatic 6–1 win over Manly". Sydney FC. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  15. ^ "Petrovski and Carney score twice in Sydney's 7–1 win". Sydney FC. 12 April 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  16. ^ "Talay's lone goal gives Sydney 1–0 win in Dubai". Sydney FC. 20 April 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  17. ^ "Zdrilic goal gives Sydney 1–0 win over Al Jazira". Sydney FC. 20 April 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  18. ^ "Yorke completes trifecta for Sydney FC". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 April 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  19. ^ "Steve Corica wonder goal gives Sydney a 3–2 win". Sydney FC. 2 June 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  20. ^ "Ward comes off bench to seal Perth win". Football Federation Australia. 14 August 2005. Retrieved 23 December 2006. 
  21. ^ "Littbarski quits, blasting club 'lies'". The Age (Melbourne). 4 May 2006. 
  22. ^ "FC Won't Appeal Salary Cap Sentence". ABC News. 4 January 2007. 
  23. ^ "Del Piero agrees to finalise Sydney FC contract". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "Del Piero to sign with Sydney FC". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 31 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "Ciao 4m Del Piero signs for two years". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  26. ^ http://www.fourfourtwo.com/au/news/brosque-skipper-sydney
  27. ^ "Sydney FC and UNICEF do the rights things to improve child rights throughout Asia.". UNICEF. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "Sydney FC And Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) Form Community Partnership". CMRI. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  29. ^ SCG Trust (9 July 2007). "Sydney Football Stadium returns as Aussie deal expires". League Unlimited. Retrieved 28 November 2007. 
  30. ^ Huxley, John (2 March 2006). "They're not just dribblers – these Coves are committed". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  31. ^ "Barnesy and The Cove record Sydney FC club song". Sydney FC. 7 July 2006. 
  32. ^ "Sydney Seal Shanghai Link-Up". FourFourTwo Australia. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  33. ^ "Sydney inaugurate academy". The World Game. Archived from the original on 24 December 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
None
A-League Champions
2005–06 (First title)
Succeeded by
Melbourne Victory
Preceded by
Melbourne Victory
A-League Premiers
2009–10 (First title)
Succeeded by
Brisbane Roar
Preceded by
Melbourne Victory
A-League Champions
2009–10 (Second title)
Succeeded by
Brisbane Roar