The A-League return is less than a month away! We can’t wait to get back into bitter rivalries, poor refereeing, exploding veins on Muscat’s head and the Bunnings chairs. Oh wait, they’ve been canned.
The FFA Cup has given us a nice taster for the season ahead and five A-League clubs remain in the final eight. Three of the four matches are in Victoria, so sucked in other states. Check out the fixture here.
I’ll run through the biggest international signings of the off-season, and there’s some real quality and experience here. I hope as you read you’re pronouncing all their names correctly in your head:
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
Roy O’Donovan (IRE)
Perhaps best known for his spell at Sunderland in the EPL, O’Donovan is a striker who has struggled to find a permanent home. However, the 29 year old will get plenty of opportunity to push his case in Gosford.
Thomas Sorensen (DEN)
101 international caps, two World Cups, 350 EPL appearances and now a gig in the A-League. Even though he’s 39, the Danish keeper signed a two year deal and will be crucial for City’s title push.
Aaron Hughes (NIR)
A veteran of 279 appearances for Newcastle United, Hughes brings more experience to City. With plenty of international experience, Hughes is seen as a versatile defender and apt replacement for Kew Jaliens and Rob Wielaert.
Bruno Fornaroli (URG)
This Uruguayan striker is known as ‘El Tuna’ and he played youth football with Luis Suarez but will be hoping to make a big impact in Australia. Played in Uruguay before representing Sampdoria in Italy and Panathinikos in Greece.
The Brazilian number 10 has an impressive resume with time at Feyenoord, Ajax, Breda and Red Bull Salzburg. He played just eight games with 1860 Munich but at 32 he believes there is plenty of good football left.
Gyorgy Sandor (HUN)
It’s not often you get to bring a club captain into your side, but that’s exactly what Perth have done with Sandor, who has led his side Videoton (Hungarian league) for the last three and a half years. Interestingly, the central midfielder will leave as a Championship captain as Videoton won the title last season.
Diego Castro (ESP)
Castro is an attacking winger who represented Getafe 129 times in La Liga. The Spaniard is 33 years old and his career highlights would include a goal against Real Madrid this year.
Guyon Fernandez (NED)
The striker has played most of his football in his home country’s Eredivisie, where he represented Feyenoord for 28 caps (seven goals). Also played for strong Dutch clubs NAC Breda and PEC Zwolle.
Filip Holosko (SVK)
After eight years and 144 games for Besiktas in Turkey, Holosko is moving to Australia to help Graham Arnold’s men to the title. The 31 year old has played Champions League football and represented Slovakia 65 times.
Milos Nikovic (SRB)
Sydney bring in another Milos, and like Dimitrijevic, Nikovic is a midfielder. The 30 year old is best known for playing 109 times for Euro League regular Dynamo Kyiv and was in Serbia’s 2010 World Cup squad.
Jeffrey Sarpong (NED)
27 year old Sarpong joins Roly Bonevacia as Dutchmen at the Pheonix, and the striker will be looking to replicate Roly’s feats of last season. He has spent time at Ajax, NEC Breda and Real Sociedad and also has a little international experience, albeit at youth level.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Federico Piovaccari (ITA)
Piovaccari has loads of experience and at 31 has good football ahead. Hadn’t played for a club outside of Italy before 2013, but a strong loan at Steaua București attracted the eyes of Western Sydney.
Another Spaniard signing and for good reason, Andreu went through the Barcalona academy and played regularly for their B and C sides. The 32 year old then had a spell at Sporting Gijon, Warsaw and even briefly Auckland City.
Dimas Delgado (ESP)
Delgado is a holding midfielder who has played most of his career in the Spainsh second division. With over 200 caps in Spain, the 32 year old brings heaps of experience to the Wanderers.
Following 11 seasons in Spain, the centre back signed for the Wanderers and will be the perfect replacement for Matt Spiranovic. His career highlights include time at Malaga and Getafe.
Which of the above are you most looking forward to? Let me know below.