With less than 50 days to go until the start of the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League Season, how are the squads shaping up?
Here’s your Hyundai A-League transfer report card for the Reds, Brisbane, Central Coast, City and Victory.
*Tomorrow, Jets, Perth, Phoenix, Sydney FC and Wanderers.
In: Paul Izzo, George Blackwood, Ersan Gülüm, Johan Absalonsen, Vince Lia, Karim Matmour
Out: Dylan McGowan, George Mells, Sergio Cirio, John Hall, Jesse Makarounas, Eugene Galekovic, Riley McGree, Kim Jae-sung, Iacopo La Rocca, Marcelo Carrusca, Eli Babalj
New boss Marco Kurz has moved quickly to alleviate the key losses of McGowan, Cirio and Carrusca, bringing in visa players Matmour and Absalonsen, while Australian-born defender Gulum is also a fantastic signing.
Paul Izzo is a good long-term replacement for club icon Eugene Galekovic, while Lia is also a handy addition, leaving the Reds looking a stronger prospect than last season.
In: Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Corey Gameiro, Massimo Maccarone, Mitch Oxborrow, Emilio Martinez
Out: Thomas Broich, Brandon Borrello, Jamie Maclaren, Manuel Arana, Cameron Crestani, Joey Katebian, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Tommy Oar, Kye Rowles
Having lost the scorers of 29 of his side’s 44 goals last season, John Aloisi’s biggest headache has been refreshing his front-line.
He’s gone for experience with 37-year-old former Italian international Maccarone joining Ben Khalfallah and a fit-again Gameiro as the new attacking additions.
It’s hard just yet to mount a case for that trio being better than Maclaren, Borrello and Broich and if injury should strike, the goals may be hard to find.
Central Coast Mariners
In: Tom Hiariej, Alan Baro, Antony Golec, Andrew Hoole, Ben Kennedy, Kye Rowles, Josh Rose, Daniel De Silva, Thomas Glover, Asdrúbal, Wout Brama
Out: Paul Izzo, Roy O’Donovan, Fabio Ferreira, Ivan Necevski, Nick Montgomery, Jacob Poscoliero, Jacques Faty, Scott Galloway, Mickael Tavares, Michael Neill, Jake Adelson
It’s been all-change at Gosford, especially in the visa spots with four new international faces lining up this season.
In particular, the Dutch pair of Hiariej and Brama look to be solid acquisitions and if De Silva can find the form that had him marked out as young of Australian football’s brightest young talents, there will be cause for optimism on the Central Coast. O’Donovan is the biggest loss, and his goals will need to be replaced by someone.
In: Eugene Galekovic, Scott Jamieson, Iacopo La Rocca, Stefan Mauk, Bart Schenkeveld
Out: Corey Gameiro, Steve Kuzmanovski, Josh Rose, Nicolas Colazo, Thomas Sorensen, Paulo Retre, Ivan Franjic, Anthony Caceres
There’s been far less activity at City than most of the other clubs with only Dutch defender Schenkeveld new to the Hyundai A-League.
The new men are very much like-for-like (Galekovic for Sorensen, Jamieson for Rose, Mauk for Caceres), while they still have one more visa spot to fill opening the door for any key signing.
In many ways, it’s hard to assess whether City will be stronger than last season or not.
In: Rhys Williams, Thomas Deng, Kosta Barbarouses, Mark Milligan, Matias Sanchez
Out: Daniel Georgievski, Rashid Mahazi, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Nick Ansell, Alan Baro, Alastair Bray, George Howard, Lucas Spinella, Marco Rojas
There have been more goings than comings at the Big V, but all five of Kevin Muscat’s signings are quality additions.
Williams and Deng strengthen the defensive stocks while Barbarouses is a direct replacement for his kiwi team-mate Rojas and Milligan is an inspirational leader and proven performer.
With space left on his roster, including two visa spots, Muscat’s biggest challenge might be fitting all his best players into the side.