It’s one to thing to say there will be a new Hyundai A-League club in Sydney next season - but putting that team together is something entirely different.
In light of recent developments at Gold Coast and Newcastle, more players than would ordinarily have been expected to be available have come on the market and this will no doubt improve the options open to those in charge of putting the new team together.
With that in mind, I’ve taken a light-hearted look at what the new Sydney team could look like.
I’ve included more than 23 players to add extra players as a point of discussion. Where possible, in addition to out of contract players with a Sydney background, I’ve also concentrated on Gold Coast and Newcastle players.
I’ve left the visa players out, except for the notable marquee suggestion I’ve thrown out there, because there are a million foreign options, including obvious ones like Bruno Cazarine, Alex Terra, Rutger Worm and Maceo Ritgers, who are current A-League imports free to sign for a new club.
Clint Bolton – Sydneysider out of contract at Melbourne Heart, perhaps looking at coaching role in future.
Jerrad Tyson – Impressed at Gold Coast when deputising for Glen Moss and looks comfortable at this level.
Reece Crowther – The former QPR & Crustal Palace junior is a Penrith boy who showed enough during his stint at Phoenix to suggest he has an A-League future.
Matthew Nash – Jets No.2 is well known to NSWPL watchers.
Mark Birighitti – Talented long-term understudy to Eugene Galekovic now clubless after Jets collapse.
Ben Kennedy – Jets long-time keeper could move down the freeway.
Connor Chapman – Highly rated Sydneysider available due to Jets predicament. Joeys captain.
Nikolai Topor Stanley – Another Sydney boy who would be an obvious target.
Michael Beauchamp – Understood to be keen to stay in his hometown after Sydney FC stint.
Tarek Elrich – The archetypal west Sydney boy. Perfect fit?
Kristian Rees – Experienced ex-GCU central defender would provide stability to the backline.
Craig Goodwin – Dynamic left back who burst on the scene for Heart, left in limbo by Jets demise.
Shannon Cole – Versatile utility player with Sydney roots.
Scott Jamieson – Energetic leftie capped by Qantas Socceroos, also from Sydney.
Josh Brillante – Young right back from Gold Coast who deserves another A-League opportunity.
Jack Green – Gun AIS prospect in the Curtis Good mould hailing from nearby Canberra.
Jamie Coyne – Sydney-born defender free after his release from Sydney FC.
Taylor Regan – Another native from NSW that the new team could snatch from the Hunter.
Mark Byrnes – Former youth international star and Victory player, he captains APIA Leichardt in Sydney’s west.
Shane Cansdell-Sherriff – Sydney-born left-sided centre back could be a great pick-up.
Paul Reid – Vastly experienced midfield general who hails from south-west Sydney
Jobe Wheelhouse – Talismanic Jets captain would add steel to the middle of the park if his club dies
Mitch Oxborrow – Cultured English-born AIS graduate snapped up by Jets could be one for the future
Daniel Severino – Former GCU set piece specialist with big reputation in NSWPL western teams.
Marcos Flores* (marquee) – Perhaps he could be tempted back to Australia as the team’s X-factor?
Jacob Pepper – Midfielder who has impressed in debut season at Jets
Ben Kantarovski – Much-vaunted youth international who made his A-League debut at 15.
James Brown – What next for the Gold Coast star who signed for the Jets only for them to pull the pin?
Stuart Musialik – Another NSW player that has flown under the radar recently but could look to resurrect his career with a new club.
Dylan Macallister – Experienced Sydney-born target man.
Adam Taggart – Pacy Australian U23 forward could be looking for a new home if Jets fold.
Labinot Haliti – A west Sydney boy who would add depth to the forward line
Marko Jesic – Young striker from Sydney who is dangerous if he can stay fit
Ryan Griffiths – Another Sydney born player with great A-League credentials
Sean Rooney – Ex-Sydney FC and Jets player from Blacktown could return from Indonesia.
As you can see from that pool of 30+ players (a list that does not pretend to be anywhere near comprehensive, as it does not even include players who do not hail from Sydney or play for the Jets or Gold Coast), it would not seem to be too hard to put a pretty competitive squad together.
Of course, there is the small matter of budgets and salary cap compliance to contend with, but even so there seems to be enough talent available to give the league a real shake and suggest that the inadvertent beneficiaries of the current problems experienced by other A-League teams could be the new team from the west.
What do you think of Ross’s selection? Have you say below..