Olympic star completes Sydney FC squad

With the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season set for a start this-Saturday Sydney FC’s senior squad is now complete, with versatile Sydney Olympic midfielder Shannon Cole confirmed as the club’s final signing.

With the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season set for a start this-Saturday Sydney FC-s senior squad is now complete, with versatile Sydney Olympic midfielder Shannon Cole confirmed as the club-s final signing.

Cole has taken an unconventional path to the A-league, trialling with English Championship club Doncaster Rovers, serving stints in Israel and New Zealand, and representing a host of NSW Premier League clubs before being asked to trial with Sydney FC.

Blessed with the ability to play across the midfield or at the back, the talented left-footer earned a contract after impressing Sydney FC-s coaching staff on the training paddock and in action for Sydney Olympic.

“It's the biggest opportunity that I've been given,” said Cole. “It's something that I've wanted for a long time, so it's time to get down to work now.”

The move has only now become official, but the 23-year-old has been a regular fixture at Sydney FC training over the past several weeks.

“I've had a bit of time to get comfortable to the surroundings,” he said. “I-m excited to improve myself and try and get into the squad.”

Training alongside some of Australia's top footballers, Cole says he is thrilled to have the chance to learn from the likes of Tony Popovic and Simon Colosimo.

“If you look at the guys and their careers it's the stuff that people like me dream about,” the new recruit acknowledged. “I try and watch everything the more experienced boy's do on and off the park so I can learn from them.”

With a host of players unavailable through injury, suspension and Olympic duty, Cole is set to get his first taste of the Hyundai A-League in Sydney FC's opening round encounter against Melbourne Victory on Saturday night.

“I will take every opportunity that I can get,” he said. “I'll work hard at training this week and if I'm given the chance to play against Melbourne then I'll give it everything I've got.”

Sydney-s season opener against the Victory kicks-off at the Sydney Football Stadium at 7pm on Saturday night, with tickets currently on sale through Ticketek.