Sydney FC has named a 29-man squad to compete in the 2019 AFC Champions League, starting next Wednesday night against Korean club Ulsan Hyundai FC at Kogarah’s Jubilee Stadium (8pm kick off).
Head Coach Steve Corica has included no less than 13 players with previous ACL experience (marked with * below), as well as overseas stars Adam Le Fondre (England), Siem de Jong (Holland) and Reza Ghoochannejhad (Iran) who will make their AFC Champions League debuts.
Milos Ninkovic (Serbian) makes up the quartet of eligible overseas players as Corica makes full use of the AFC Champions League’s 3+1 ruling on non-Australians competing.
The result means Dutch defender Jop van der Linden won’t be included in the squad but will become vital to the club’s chase for a fourth Hyundai A-League Championship.
The Sky Blues have also included eight under 20’s in the squad (marked with ** below), who will gain valuable first team experience in AFC Champions League competition.
Head Coach Steve Corica said: “We are looking forward to a great campaign and the huge challenge of competing against the best of Asian football.
“We’ve been drawn against the Champions of China and Japan, as well as Korea’s third best club, so it’s a difficult task but one we are looking forward to.
“It’s exciting and something different for our players, particularly the younger boys, for whom the experience will be one to relish and learn from.
“We had to leave one player out and it was an extremely tough decision.
“Jop is a fantastic professional, he has a great attitude and we’ll need his experience with a busy schedule towards the end of the season.”
Sydney FC face six AFC Champions League Group H matches starting next week on Wednesday 6th March. The Sky Blues face Chinese Champions Shanghai SIPG, Japanese title holders Kawasaki Frontale and Korean club Ulsan Hyundai FC in home and away matches between 6th March and 21st May, for a place in the last 16 of Asia’s premier club competition.
Sydney FC’s 29-man AFC Champions League squad is as follows….
1. Andrew Redmayne*
2. Aaron Calver*
3. Ben Warland*
4. Alex Wilkinson*
6. Joshua Brillante*
7. Michael Zullo*
8. Paulo Retre*
9. Adam Le Fondre
10. Milos Ninkovic*
11. Daniel De Silva
13. Brandon O'Neill*
14. Alex Brosque*
16. Reza Ghoochannejhad
17. Anthony Caceres*
18. Jacob Tratt
20. Alex Cisak*
21. Mitchell Austin
22. Siem De Jong
23. Rhyan Grant*
24. Cameron Devlin**
25. Joel King**
27. Jerry Skotadis**
28. Marco Tilio**
30. Tom Heward-Belle
31. Luke Ivanovic**
32. Jordi Swibel**
33. Liam McGing
34. Patrick Scibilio**
37. Hamish Lamberton**
AFC CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH DETAILS
Sydney FC AFC Champions League 2019 Group H Fixtures*:
Wednesday 6th March, 2019
Sydney FC v Ulsan Hyundai FC – 8pm AEDT - Jubilee Stadium.
Wednesday 13th March, 2019
Kawasaki Frontale v Sydney FC – 9pm AEDT - Todoroki Athletics Stadium (Kawasaki)
Wednesday 10th April, 2019
Sydney FC v Shanghai SIPG – 7.30pm AEST – Jubilee Stadium
Tuesday 23rd April, 2019
Shanghai SIPG v Sydney FC – 9.30pm AEST - Shanghai Stadium (Shanghai).
Tuesday 7th May, 2019
Ulsan Hyundai FC v Sydney FC – 8PM AEST - Ulsan Munsu Football Stadium (Ulsan)
Tuesday 21st May, 2019
Sydney FC v Kawasaki Frontale – TBC – Jubilee Stadium.