Sydney FC at full strength for showdown

Hyundai A-League 2010 Champions Sydney FC will be at full strength for their opening match of the 2010/11 campaign which gets underway against rivals Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night (8pm-kick-off).

Hyundai A-League 2010 Champions Sydney FC will be at full strength for their opening match of the 2010/11 campaign which gets underway against rivals Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Football Stadium on Saturday night (8pm-kick-off).

The Grand Final re-match will see the two most successful teams in Hyundai A-League history, both having won two championships each, go head-to-head for the 19th time.

Sky Blues coach Vitezslav Lavicka confirmed he will have a full contingent of players at his disposal, giving the side a massive boost on the eve of the highly anticipated clash.

“Everyone is on the pitch, that-s important for me but still we have two days before the kickoff,” Lavicka said. “All players are ready to start, the boys did very well during the pre-season and we have an exciting first game.”

“It-s a very exciting start for all clubs and for football fans as well. I have to say I hope the crowd will be near full and many people will watch the game and give support for Sydney FC.

“We have a respect for them [Melbourne] because they are very good players and we have a clear intention and strong desire to be successful in this game.”

During the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League campaign Sydney and Melbourne-s rivalry rose to new heights with the two heavyweight clubs meeting three times in the regular season and a further three more times during an epic final series.

The Sky Blues got the better of the Victory in the home and away season notching up a 2-0 victory at home, and an impressive 3-0 victory and 0-0 draw away, helping them claim the Minor Premiership before taking the title on penalties.

Following a dream debut season as coach of the Sky Blues, Lavicka said his new look squad is in excellent condition, both physically and mentally, for their title at back-to-back championships.

“That-s football, we have changed about 5 or 6 spots in the squad,” he said. “But I am happy players like Nicky Carle, Scotty Jamieson, Liam Reddy, and Hirofumi Moriyasu are here."

“Of course we miss the players who are important such as Simon Colosimo, Steve Corica, John Aloisi and Karol Kisel, but these players are good enough to replace them.”

Lavicka is also delighted to welcome back front man Kofi Danning and key midfielder Stuart Musialik after both suffered serious injuries last season.

“He (Danning) is back and available and he has shown especially at the end of the game against Blackburn that he is a very good player for us,” Lavicka said.

“Stuey had the injury straight after last season. He worked very hard to get back, the medical staff did a great job with him and of course as a coach I am happy that he is back.”

Sydney FC duo Scott Jamieson and Shannon Cole will play their 50th A-League games.

Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 13. Antony GOLEC, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 16. Terry ANTONIS, 17. Matthew JURMAN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT *five to be omitted*