It’s August 17th, just 54 days till season 10 of the Hyundai A-league blasts off. Here’s a snapshot of where each club is with their squad.
Spanish coach Josep Gombau brought flair to Coopers Stadium last season and his passion was rewarded by being voted coach of the Foxtel A-League All Stars side. While he has hasn't made the same impact in the transfer market this time around, the acquisition of Spanish striker Pablo Sanchez Alberto will add quality to the Reds strike force. While Jeggo and McGowan are both young players with a point to prove and will add depth to Gombau's roster.
Ins - James Jeggo, Dylan McGowan, Pablo Sanchez Alberto
Outs - Jacob Melling, Jon McKain, Jeronimo Neumann, Jake Barker-Daish, Jacob Melling, Daniel Bowles, Michael Zullo
The champions have had a quiet off-season in the transfer market with the club only announcing a handful of signings so far, alongside the addition of experienced coach Ron Smith as their new assistant. Socceroo Matt McKay will be full of confidence after his World Cup debut in Brazil and of course they can also rely on Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich. The big question is whether Albanian striker Mensur Kurtisi can replace departed countryman Besart Berisha.
Ins - Jamie Young, Daniel Bowles, Mensur Kurtisi
Outs - Besart Berisha, Matt Acton, Diogo Ferreira, Ivan Franjic
Central Coast Mariners
The Mariners had four former players play a major part in the Socceroos’ World Cup campaign and they’ll be hoping their academy can unearth a new generation of stars this season. Having made a flurry of signings in the mid-season transfer window the Mariners have also added powerful Senegalese striker Malick Mane to their roster. With the departure of Bernie Ibini to Sydney FC, the 24-year-old will be charged with finding the net regularly for last season's preliminary finalists. With a few players leaving the club from last season, Phil Moss will no doubt be happy with the re-signing of key players Storm Roux, Anthony Cacerers and Mitch Duke.
Ins - Liam Rose, Anthony Kalik, Malick Mane, Matt Nash, Richard Vernes
Outs - Justin Pasfield, Mile Sterjovski, Marcos Flores, Adam Kwasnik, Bernie Ibini, Marcel Seip
The retention of Mark Milligan to an extended deal as their new Australian marquee is a huge coup for the Victory and his combination with new signing Carl Valeri will be vital to their season, as will new French central defender Delpierre. The high profile signing of Besart Berisha will inject some real potency up front as the club look to go a step further and make this season’s Grand Final after back-to-back Semi-Final exits. The Melbourne derbies will be an even bigger spectacle this season given the new financial muscle of their cross-town rivals City.
Ins - Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri, Matthieu Delpierre
Outs - James Jeggo, Adama Traore, James Troisi (end of loan spell), Tom Rogic (end of loan spell) Francesco Stellar, Pablo Contreras (retired)
It’s been a huge off-season for Melbourne City, with the club being taken over by new owners and undergoing a rebranding to mirror brothers Manchester City and New York City. That relationship has seen Spanish superstar David Villa signed for a 10-game guest stint and Slovenian striker Robert Koren named the club's international marquee for the next two-seasons. Add to the mix the signings of former Ireland international Damien Duff and Aaron Mooy and there’s no doubt City will be pushing for higher honours this season.
Ins - Aaron Mooy, James Brown, Connor Chapman, Jacob Melling, David Villa (on loan), Damien Duff, Robert Koren
Outs - Patrick Gerhardt, Sam Mitchinson, David Vrankovic, Jeremy Walker, Aziz Behich, Harry Kewell, Orlando Engelaar
There has been a huge turnover of personnel at Newcastle with new coach Phil Stubbins handed the assignment of guiding the Jets back to the finals. The Jets have added former Johnny Warren Medalist Marcos Flores to their roster along with Argentinian goal poacher Jeronimo Neumann from Adelaide United. Newcastle have also added Northern Ireland international Jonny Steele to their midfield and secured Billy Celeski from the Chinese Super League. Of course the loss of last season’s Golden Boot winner Adam Taggart will be a big but goalkeeper Mark Birighittti will no doubt come back from Brazil a lot more confident following his experience in the Socceroos’ squad.
Ins - Adrian Madaschi, Josh Barresi, Marcos Flores, Edson Montano (on loan), Jonny Steele, Jeronimo Neumann, Billy Celeski, Sam Gallagher
Outs - Connor Chapman, James Brown, Josh Mitchell, Joey Gibbs, Ruben Zadkovich, Zenon Caravella, Adam Taggart, Emile Heskey, Mitchell Oxborrow, Michael Bridges
Having decided to stick with entertaining coach Kenny Lowe, the Glory boss will be hoping to see his persona reproduced on the pitch. Perth have been the most active club in the player market to date, with a string of signings set to return the club to a competitive force in 2014/15. It will be interesting to monitor how this overhauled squad jells and Irish international Andy Keogh will hopefully be able to deal with the Perth heat better than former marquee William Gallas. Mitch Nichols looks a good pick up, too.
Ins – Youssof Hersi, Dino Djulbic, Ruben Zadkovich, Andy Keogh, Danny Vukovic (returning from loan spell), Diogo Ferreira, Adrian Zahra, Mitch Nichols, Jordan Thurtell, Richard Garcia
Outs - Jacob Burns, Ryan Edwards (end of loan), Darvydas Sernas (end of loan), Adrian Zahra, Shane Smeltz, Steven McGarry
The biggest thing Sydney FC will be craving this season is stability and in new manager Graham Arnold they should have that in spades. The club has added some real attacking flair to their books with Austrian Captain Marc Janko signing on as the club's marquee alongside fellow attackers Bernie Ibini, Shane Smeltz and Alex Brosque. The latter holding the record as the Sky Blues’ greatest goal scorer. Of course the absence of Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero is something they will miss but Janko has the potential to become a real fan favourite in the harbour city.
Ins – Bernie Ibini, Shane Smeltz, Alex Brosque, Marc Janko, Alex Gersbach
Outs – Alessandro Del Piero, Richard Garcia, Ranko Despotovic, Mitch Mallia, Joel Chianese, Blake Powell, Marc Warren, Matt Thompson, Terry McFlynn (retired)
A young Phoenix squad should be all the stronger from the experience of last season but they’ll need to avoid another winless start to the campaign. The Phoenix will miss the presence of Carlos Hernandez but Gorrin and Burns should provide able cover. Wellington have added former Ajax Academy graduate Roly Bonevacia to their midfield while young fullback Tom Doyle earned a contract after impressing on trial against Newcastle United and West Ham..
Ins - Alejandro Gorrin, Nathan Burns, Tom Doyle, Roly Bonevacia
Outs - Carlos Hernandez, Lucas Pantelis, Leo Bertos, Stein Huysegems, Luke Adams, Paul Ifill (off contract but training with the squad)
Western Sydney Wanderers
Western Sydney have seen their foundation squad decimated in the off-season as coach Tony Popovic sets about rebuilding a team that will hope to go one better in this season’s Grand Final. Wanderers fans still have to look forward to their team’s participation in the knock-out stages of the Asian Champions League and their qualification for the next edition will again ensure Popovic rotates his squad as he did masterly last season. Whether Vitor Saba can replace Shinji Ono remains the big question for the Red and Black.
Ins - Dean Bouzanis, Vitor Saba, Brendan Hamill, Anthony Golec (signed from ACL contract), Romeo Castelen
Outs - Michael Beauchamp, Shinji Ono, Youssouf Hersi, Jerome Polenz, Adam D’Apuzzo, Jerrad Tyson, Aaron Mooy, Tahj Minniecon, Dean Heffernan, Josh Barresi