State of readiness at Sydney FC

Sydney FC is building its pre-season program around a series of State League friendlies.

Sydney FC embraces the Community in tough pre season schedule

Sydney FC-s long hard road back to the top of the Hyundai A-League will take the team all over Sydney over the coming weeks as it prepares to play eight matches against State League sides at local community grounds in the first stage of an arduous pre season.

Sydney FC will play matches in Campbelltown, Bankstown, Penrith, Asquith, Manly, Edensor Park and Sutherland with all money raised from nominal entry fees to be put straight back into the football community through the relevant State League clubs and local Associations.

The eight-match “road trip” is an extension of last year-s pre season that saw Sydney FC play three matches against State League opposition but coach Vitezslav Lavicka-s thirst for more pre season matches mirrors Sydney FC-s desire to take the game to the people of Sydney.

The result is clashes against State League sides Macarthur Rams, Bankstown City FC, Penrith Nepean United, Northern Tigers, Manly United, Sydney United and Sutherland with one final clash to be determined.

The first match will be against the Macarthur Rams at Lynwood Park, St Helens Park in Sydney-s south-west on Wednesday 13 May with more than 1,000 tickets already pre-purchased for that match.

“I want to play as many games (as) possible so we can start to play together,” said Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka. “I have a good feeling after the start of training and with the players. We also need to play games, many games.

“We will start with (the) games with local (State League) teams to build little by little and then after (that) we will play some tougher games. I am happy with these games. It will help us be ready for the first (Hyundai) A-League game.”

Lavicka-s willingness to embrace Sydney FC-s desire to connect with the Sydney football community has also pleased Sydney FC CEO Stefan Kamasz.

“Last year we started this initiative with games against Blacktown, Sutherland and Manly at their grounds around Sydney and we had great crowds at those games,” Kamasz said. “This is an extension of our desire to embrace the wider football community.

“Sydney FC has stated we are serious in continuing to increase what we do with the community and I think this schedule, and the initiatives that will take place at all eight matches, proves we are willing to back up our intentions with actions.

“This schedule allows Vitja (Lavicka) to play some important pre season games, allows Sydney FC to take the stars to the fans at suburban grounds and also allows young State League players to test themselves against A-League opposition.”

As well as playing games against State League sides, members of the Sydney FC coaching staff will also spend time with young players and coaches at each club before and during the match to help pass on valuable knowledge.

“Sydney FC wants to do more than just show up, play the game and help raise some money for local football so we will be putting on some coaching sessions for the elite Youth League players and “coach the coaches” sessions with the Youth League coaches.

“The feedback we have received from clubs and Football NSW tells us we can offer a great service to the local football fraternity by passing on knowledge from our coaching staff and it is an important part of what we are trying to achieve over these eight weeks.”

At the end of the matches against State League opposition, Sydney FC will step up the intensity with matches against Hyundai A-League sides North Queensland and Newcastle as well as the possibility of playing two international teams before the start of the Hyundai A-League season on 8 August.

Sydney FC-s pre season match schedule is:

Macarthur Rams v Sydney FC (0-1 Sydney FC) Wednesday 13 May 2009 - 7:30pm Lynwood Park, St Helens Park

Bankstown v Sydney FC (0-2 Sydney FC) Wednesday 20 May 2009 - 7:30pm Jenson Oval, Sefton

Sydney Tigers v Sydney FC (0-3 Sydney FC) Wednesday 27 May 2009 - 7:15pm Lambert Park, Leichhardt

Northern Tigers v Sydney FC (0-3 Sydney FC) Wednesday 3 June 2009 - 7:30pm Mills Park, Asquith

Penrith Nepean United v Sydney FC (0-2 Sydney FC) Tuesday 9 June 2009 - 7:30pm CUA Stadium, Penrith

Manly United v Sydney FC (0-4 Sydney FC) Tuesday 16 June 2009 - 7:00pm Cromer Park, Dee Why

Sydney United v Sydney FC (0-1 Sydney FC) Tuesday 23 June 2009 - 7:30pm Sydney United Sports Centre, Edensor Park

Sydney FC v North Queensland Fury (4-0 Sydney FC) Saturday 27 June 2009 - 7:00pm Shark Park, Cronulla

Sutherland Sharks v Sydney FC (1-4 Sydney FC) Wednesday 1 July 2009 - 7:30pm Seymour Shaw Park, Miranda

Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners (0-0 Draw) Monday 6 July 2009 - 7:00pm Leichhardt Oval

Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC (0-2 Sydney FC) Sunday 11 July 2009 - 2:00pm Regional Sports Centre, Port Macquarie

Sydney Olympic v Sydney FC (0-1 Sydney FC) Sunday 19 July 2009 - 5:30pm Belmore Oval

Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets (1-1 Draw) Sunday 26 July 2009 - 2:00pm Sydney Football Stadium