Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says he’s all but settled on his squad for the 2015-16 A-League season but believes Max Burgess could be an X-factor.
Burgess, 20, scored Sydney’s second goal in Wednesday’s 2-0 FFA Cup victory away to Sorrento which came only two weeks in the club’s resumption of pre-season.
While the Sky Blues got past the WA NPL club, several of their international legion began arriving in Australia, with all five set to link up for pre-season in the next 24 hours.
Sydney re-signed Milos Dimitrijevic last week and have added Filip Holosko and Milos Ninkovic, following the loss of Marc Janko, Corey Gameiro, Bernie Ibini and Nikola Petkovic.
Arnold has also added Zachary Anderson, Andrew Hoole, Brandon O’Neill, Riley Woodcock and former Central Coast marksman Matt Simon.
“Matty Simon was the last bit of the salary cap,” Arnold said after Wednesday’s win. “I needed something different up front.”
“We’ve still got one NYL position open if a special kid comes along.
“Who knows what happens from here until the end of august when the transfer window is open.
Young attacker Burgess, who spent time with Newcastle Jets last season, only has an NYL contract with the Sky Blues.
The exciting youngster showed off his quality with his classy 75th minute finish.
“It’s another kid we’ve got,” Arnold said.
“I like kids. They add enthusiasm. They’ve got to learn.
“They’ll make mistakes but that’s what the FFA Cup is for, to give the kids an opportunity. We’ve got a deep squad this year.
“Max Burgess is a kid who’s been at the club the last couple of years. We let him go to Newcastle at the back end of last season.
“He experienced some first-team football with the Jets and he wanted to come back to us this year. He’s a youth team player and he’s got a good future with us.
“We’ve still got one NYL position free. He sees, like a lot of the kids on the east coast, that I give them the opportunity, so they want to come to Sydney for that reason.”
Arnold said Sydney had got through the clash unscathed, although Hoole picked up a minor complaint in the second half before being replaced.
“He got a knock,” Arnold said. “He was good in patches. He’s a boy that gets frustrated easily.
“It’s his first game with us. He’s got to learn the patterns of play, learn where the players are and the combinations and what his defensive role is.
“We’ve only been together working for 10-12 days. It’s going to take time to gel but when it does he’s going to be without doubt one of our best players. I’m looking forward to putting him in with the five foreigners.”
Arnold also praised Brandon O’Neill for his display in midfield, while he added he had no favoured opponent for the last 16, although he’d preferred not to travel again.comments