NEW A- LEAGUE SIGNINGS BEST XI
Recruitment this year may not have unearthed another Del Piero (at least not when we went to press…) but it has produced a pretty strong first XI...
GK ALEX CISAK SYDNEY FC Former Australia youth international goalkeeper returns to Oz after more than a decade in England’s lower leagues. Poland-born Hobart-raised Cisak has a tough job replacing Danny Vukovic at Sydney FC. RB LUKE WILKSHIRE SYDNEY FC The veteran with 80 caps left Australia for Middlesbrough as a 16-year-old in 1998. Wilkshire, who can play rightback or in midfield, brings experience as well as passing and tackling quality. CB ERSAN GULUM ADELAIDE UNITED Turkey international returns to the country of his birth to play in the A-League with Adelaide United. Gulum will be a physical and vocal leader in United’s defence, with vast experience at Turkish giants Besiktas. CB BART SCHENKEVELD MELBOURNE CITY Ex-Feyenoord and Netherlands youth international joins City in his prime at 26. The right-sided, 6ft tall central defender made 20 appearances in the Eredivisie last term. LB SCOTT JAMIESON MELBOURNE CITY The tenacious leftback has joined his fifth A-League club, signing with Melbourne City after a stint in Sweden. Now 28, Jamieson won’t be short of energy up and down the flank – along with plenty of Twitter banter. RM ADRIAN MIERZEJEWSKI SYDNEY FC Gun 40-time Poland international midfielder who has dazzled in Sydney’s FFA Cup run. Spent the past three years in the Middle East after previous stints in Turkey and his homeland. DM PERTH XAVI GLORY TORRES Box-to-box who has plied former his trade Barcelona in Spain’s midfielder top two before divisions joining for friend almost Diego a decade Castro at Glory. this year, Accused while of with match-fixing Real Betis. earlier CM MATIAS SANCHEZ MELBOURNE VICTORY Ex-Argentina youth international, who won the 2007 Under-20 World Cup. The hard-working 30-year-old midfielder spent most of his career in Argentina, along with spells in Greece and USA. LM JOHAN ABSALONSEN ADELAIDE UNITED Two-time Denmark international has shown his quality on the left flank in Adelaide’s FFA Cup run. The 32-year-old is a creator and useful over a dead ball. Previously spent his career in Denmark. ST/AM RONALD VARGAS NEWCASTLE JETS Diminutive Venezuela international striker who looks the real deal. Won the Belgian title twice previously with Anderlecht and has also had cup success in Greece with AEK Athens. Brings experience at 30 too. ST ORIOL RIERA WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS Spanish journeyman who scored four goals in Western Sydney’s first three FFA Cup games. The striker, who stands 6 ft 1 in, has a good header and positional sense. Previous clubs include Deportivo Coruna, Osasuna and Wigan.
01 WOUT BRAMA CENTRAL COAST MARINERS Dutch defensive midfielder heads to Gosford after more than a decade playing in the Dutch Eredivisie, including 200-plus appearances for Twente. 02 KARIM MATMOUR ADELAIDE UNITED Ex-Algeria international played three games at the 2010 World Cup, including a 0-0 draw with England. France-born creative attacker with great technique. MASSIMO MACCARONE 03 BRISBANE ROAR Twice capped for Italy in 2002 and a fruitful stint in the Premier League with Middlesbrough. The 38-year-old striker is still as intelligent as ever, netting 28 goals for Empoli in three seasons.