Around the Grounds: Zullo insists ex-Western Sydney Wanderer Baumjohann can 'go to an even better level' with Sydney FC

Michael Zullo has stoked the fires of the Sydney derby by insisting ex-Western Sydney Wanderer Alexander Baumjohann can be an even better player in a Sky Blue jersey.

Baumjohann, who scored three goals in 20 Hyundai A-League appearances in red and black, stunned football fans across the nation earlier this month by ditching Markus Babbel’s Wanderers and moving across the Harbour City to Sydney FC.

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The German playmaker created the joint fourth most chances in the Hyundai A-League in 2018/19, with only Dimi Petratos, Craig Goodwin and Neil Kilkenny ranking higher.

Zullo arrived back in training on Monday after head coach Steve Corica signed off some extra leave for the left-back to enjoy his honeymoon.

The 30-year-old was raring to join the Hyundai A-League Champions for pre-season workouts and admits he’s already fired up about this season’s Sydney derbies. 

“Those games are the biggest games of the season for the club and for the players,” Zullo said on Sydney FC's official Twitter channel.

“The Sydney derby, obviously, is going to be even better this year with the opening of their new stadium.

“That adds another bit of spice to the game but obviously signing [Alex Baumjohann], he was one of their best players last year I think. He can go to an even better level with us this year.”

McGowan: ’Time to deliver’

Wanderers recruit Dylan McGowan issued a rallying cry to his new teammates to break their Hyundai A-League Finals Series drought.

The 27-year-old last turned out in the Hyundai A-League in 2016/17, which was the year Western Sydney’s Finals barren spell began.

“I know a lot of the boys from either playing with them or against them,” McGowan said. 

“The building has sort of stopped, we’ve built this training ground, the stadium has been built and now it’s time to deliver on the field. 

“For the last couple of years we’ve been somewhat off par. We’ve not made the finals in three years and for a club like this, that is not acceptable.

“This season we’re looking to improve and improve drastically really and be competing at the top end of the table.”

Confidence flowing for Amadi-Holloway

New Brisbane Roar recruit Aaron Amadi-Holloway is clearly loving life in the Sunshine State.

The 26-year-old netted his maiden goal in orange in head coach Robbie Fowler’s first match in the Roar dugout, a 3-0 win against Redlands United on Saturday. 

Following his off-season move from English League One outfit Shrewsbury Town, Welshman Amadi-Holloway is clearly enjoying the Queensland vibes.

“I was delighted to get 45 minutes,” Amadi-Holloway said.

“I think the team played well, it was good to get that little bond started together with how each player is going to play, the understanding is getting better.

“It was good to play with my team mates for the first time and to get on the scoresheet. Overall it was a good start and it's great to get the confidence going early doors.”