We run the rule over two-time champions Sydney FC ahead of the upcoming Westfield W-League season.
Sydney FC boast a phenomenal track-record having featured in every Westfield W-League finals series – the only club to do so. Remarkably, they have also appeared in five out of eight Grand Finals. The Sky Blues endured some stumbles last season yet still won their way to the season decider, such is the club’s stature.
Sydney FC have secured arguably the signing of the off-season with the return of Westfield Matildas ace Caitlin Foord. Also returning after a year off is the ever-reliable Servet Uzunlar, while reinforcements may yet arrive from overseas to further bolster the ranks of an already impressive roster. Sydney FC will open with two blockbusters; firstly away to old rivals Brisbane Roar, before returning home for a headline-grabbing derby against their crosstown rivals.
Coach Dan Barrett is imbued with Sydney FC’s club culture, having been a long-serving assistant to Alen Stajcic, before assuming the senior reins when the national team came calling for Stajcic in the middle of the 2014/15 season. After a shocking opening start against Melbourne City last season, the Sky Blues have reset their expectations.
“The focus is on not playing second fiddle to Melbourne City who went through undefeated,” said Barrett. “Our club is not comfortable with being second best, and we have 100 per cent focus on trying to change that. We will look to bridge the gap with our own expectations.
“We have a culture of winning in the W-League so if we can take care of that, it will take care of everything else. That is also tied up in our resources, which are brilliant, our attitude at training and games and so on.
“First and foremost, I wanted to make sure we have the best Sydney-based players in our squad. Pivotal for us was Caitlin Foord. Of all the teams we played against she was the one I feared the most. Having Caitlin back was a priority for us, and she has been fantastic so far. Also great to have back Servet Uzunlar who is totally revitalised with her football, and she has been a real breath of fresh air within the squad.”
First match: v Brisbane Roar, Spencer Park, Brisbane, Saturday 5 November, 4pm (local)
B v Western Sydney Wanderers, Sunday 13 November, 2.30pm
Ins: Servet Uzunlar (uncontracted), Caitlin Foord (Perth Glory), Georgia Yeoman-Dale (Newcastle Jets)
Outs: Michelle Betos (Portland Thorns, USA), Sunny Franco (Brisbane Roar), Jasmyne Spencer (Canberra United), Amy Harrison (injury), Renee Rollason (released), Teigen Allen (Melbourne City), Lyndsay Kohlet (released)