They were the two Grand Finalists last season and a return to the grandest stage is firmly on the agenda once again.

Sydney FC has loaded up once more with a plethora of star recruits while the Glory welcome one of the A-League’s most prolific talisman.

When both these teams take the park – expect fireworks and plenty of excitement.

Perth Glory

It’s a question of what now for the Glory?

After last season’s heartbreaking defeat on penalties, Perth were forced to lick their wounds and head into an all-important off-season.

The big question remains as to whether the loss will galvanise the squad or do the complete opposite.

Tony Popovic has been proactive in trying to improve his squad by bringing in Uruguayan forward Bruno Fornaroli after an unceremonious departure from Melbourne City.

After basically sitting out the entirety of last-season, El Tuna will look to repeat his phenomenal scoring feats of prior seasons at the Glory as he looks to fill the gap left by outgoing forward Andy Keogh.

Socceroo left-back Jason Davidson has also been replaced by James Meredith who returns to Australia after a long career in England for sides such as Bradford City and Millwall.

The inclusions of Osama Malik, Nick D’Agostino, Dane Ingham and Soo-Beom Kim also add significant depth to the Glory’s stocks who will compete in Asia for the first time in the club’s history.

However, more importantly they have been able to retain the services of Chris Ikonomidis and Diego Castro who added undoubted quality to the Glory attacking setup.

With Asia now on the agenda and the tall-task of following up last season’s incredible run, the question remains – can the Glory one step better this campaign?

INS: Nick D’Agostino (Perth Glory), Gregory Wuthrich (Grasshopper Club Zürich), Dane Ingham (Brisbane Roar), Jacob Tratt (Sydney FC), Soo-Beom Kim (Jeju United), Osama Malik (Al-Batin FC), Bruno Fornaroli (Melbourne City), James Meredith (Millwall FC)

OUTS: Fabio Ferreira (Adelaide City), Nick Feely (Pascoe Vale), Andy Keogh (Al Qadisiyah), Scott Neville (Brisbane Roar), Daniel Stynes (Bentleigh), Shane Lowry (Al Ahli), Jason Davidson (Ulsan), Jacob Italiano (Borussia Monchengladbach II)

Sydney FC

The reigning, defending, undisputed champions of the A-League are looking to do something they’ve never done.

Go back-to-back.

No side other than the Brisbane Roar has been able to achieve this feat and the Sky Blues are looking to become the most successful club in A-League history by bringing home their fifth crown.

Steve Corica has wasted no time adding to his playing stocks bringing in talented attackers Kosta Barbarouses and Alexander Baumjohann who join from rival clubs to replace Siem de Jong and the retiring Alex Brosque.

While Luke Brattan and Ryan McGowan provide ready-made replacements for the outgoing Josh Brillante and Aaron Calver.

Arguably, this Sydney side is even better on paper than it was last season as they join the already established quality of Brandon O’Neill, Adam Le Fondre, Rhyan Grant and co in a star-studded lineup.

The most impressive feature may be their depth, in particular up-front.

The return of Trent Buhagiar from a serious knee injury last season and the rise of young forward Luke Ivanovic provides Sydney with an array of options to rotate throughout this season and also on their Asian voyages.

It’s more of a question of how they will balance all the quality on the field and whether they can find the right mix of players.

The ball is in Sydney’s court once more and arguably, they have never been better placed to push for another A-League crown.

INS: Alexander Baumjohan (Western Sydney Wanderers), Luke Brattan (Melbourne City), Kosta Barbarouses (Melbourne Victory), Ryan McGowan (Bradford City).

OUTS:  Aaron Calver, Josh Brillante, Siem De Jong, Danny Da Silva, Reeza Ghoochannejhad, Alex Brosque.

Advertisements
Nick D’Urbano
nicholas.durbano9@gmail.com