This article was written by Sydney FC member, Melissa Muscat.
The A League Football/Soccer season is back!! Sydney FC played their first home game of the 2017/18 Season on Sunday night as defending champions. I’m very thankful I have another sport to love other than Rugby League as it would be a very long off season, as I hear from many of my Parra Eels friends.
Returning on the back of a season that Sydney FC had in 2016/17 is no easy feat. The team had one of the most successful seasons since the A League began, smashing many records ever seen in Australia. To name a few, the Sky Blues held first position from round 1 to 27, conceded the least goals at 14, the most points achieved in an entire regular season, 66, 17 points clear of second place, and one defeat all season. A phenomenal effort.
It was very easy for the crowd to be critical of the match against Wellington Phoenix, myself included, but the game didn’t disappoint with five goals being scored and Sydney holding two wins from two games. A successful sporting team is a combination of many factors arguably the most important, the calibre of players. Sydney FC field a very strong squad, most retained from last season, which is why it is possible for them to go back to back champions.
Milos Ninkovic, what a star to watch. His skill and technique on the ball are awe inspiring. The man can almost single handedly take on a team. If you have a desire to watch another sport in the off season to Rugby League, he is the reason alone. The A League is very fortunate to have Ninkovic playing in Australia and the talent is one to be appreciated as I’m sure it won’t be long before he is signed up by an overseas club.
If I’m to be honest, the Marquee players are what drew me to A League games in the beginning. My definition of a Marquee is not just an exceptional soccer player, but someone who is also popular and well known in the sport. Dwight Yorke. What a coup in the inaugural A League season. Ex Manchester United star, David Beckham’s team mate and Brit Pop Star Jordan aka Katie Price’s ex partner and father to their son Harvey. Since then, the A League have witnessed many Marquee players including Robbie Fowler, David Villa and Emile Heskey to name a few. Possibly the biggest to date was Italy World Cup winner Alessandro Del Piero. What. A. Signing. The guy was worth his weight in jersey sales alone!
As the A League campaign goes, ‘You’ve got to have a team’. It’s our local league. We should really all have a team like most do in NRL. To be able to witness international talent playing on Aussie soil, is good reason alone and we are very privileged. Young soccer players should be inspired by this. The Socceroo commercial ‘I was made in the A League’ is a powerful one, this is where it all begins…and where bigger things aspire for our juniors. I for one hope to see more Marquee players promoted here. To inspire the up and coming future Socceroos, to witness a masterclass of talent on home soil and to add some spark and excitement on game day.
If you’ve never been to a live game, Saturday night may well be the first night to make your debut. The relatively new Sydney Derby between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers has proven to be quite the hotly contested ticket around town. The fierce rivalry built up over their relatively short history never disappoints and the crowd is usually a sell out, with 40 000 plus almost a given. So wear your sky blue or red and black this Saturday night and get down to Allianz Stadium to what is shaping up to be an eventful night, especially with the goalkeeper swap midway through last season!