Hyundai A-League transfer report card

​Who’s done well and who’s keeping their powder dry in the A-League transfer market? We assess which clubs have done the best business in the transfer market so far.

Central Coast Mariners

Assessment so far: Strong additions in key areas.

Summary: A squad clearly lacking in experience, attacking options and defensive know-how has been strengthened in exactly those three areas.

Tony Walmsley has brought in experience where it's needed with Powell, Faty, Tavares, Pain and Necevski all quality A-League operators.

Blake Powell has joined the Central Coast Mariners on a two-year-deal.

Now Roy O’Donovan has young, fast back up in the attacking third. And the back third has experience while Nick Montgomery can run the midfield with Tavares - it’s all slotting in quite nicely. 

And the fact that Walmsley has done this business early in the pre-season gives ample time to gel the new faces with the younger ones in his squad, who’d be better for a tough season last time out.

Judging by their transfer market dealings so far, we’re quietly optimistic this mix can work well in Season 2016/17.

Key signings: Blake Powell, Connor Pain, Mickael Tavares, Jacques Faty, Kwabena Appiah

Click here for the official Central Coast Mariners site

Sydney FC

Assessment so far: Powerful defensive acquisitions

Summary: It’ll be a largely new defensive unit next season – and judging by Graham Arnold’s signings, it will have a steely look.

Danny Vukovic and Vedran Janjetovic fighting for the number one spot means the club has the strongest keeping ranks of any in the A-League.  

In front of them, Caltex Socceroo Alex Wilkinson, Josh Brillante and Michael Zullo bring experience and overseas nous in defensive roles (though Zullo could also play as an attacking wide midfielder).

Socceroo Brillante jetting off to Serie A

And the attacking cavalry has begun to arrive with Berni Ibini heading back to Moore Park as the opening night of the A-League and a Sydney Derby approaches.

Key signings: Danny Vukovic, Alex Wilkinson, Michael Zullo, Josh Brillante, Bernie Ibini

Click here for the official Sydney FC site

Wellington Phoenix

Assessment so far: Impressive attacking additions, now for the defensive line

Summary: The telepathic understanding of off-season signings from Victory, the attacking duo of Finkler and Barbarouses, are the big ticket items.

The fact that they know each other’s play so well is a huge fillip for the Nix.

New Phoenix signing Gui Finkler. 📷 courtesy Wellington Phoenix

And even accounting for the loss of Blake Powell, there’s still a net gain up front when you add the existing quality of  Bonevacia, McGlinchey and Krishna.

That said, the loss of defensive stalwarts Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat, as well as brilliant midfielder Albert Riera, are huge holes yet to be filled.

Key signings: Gui Finkler, Kosta Barbarouses

Click here for the official Wellington Phoenix site

Brisbane Roar

Assessment so far: Low key.

Summary: It’s all a bit quiet up north. But a number of new signings are believed to be on way in coming weeks as the Queenslanders look to cover the loss of the likes of Corona, Donachie and others.

Jacob Pepper has signed with Brisbane Roar.

Key signing: Jacob Pepper

Click here for the official Brisbane Roar site

Perth Glory

Assessment so far:  Eye-catching additions equal great depth

Summary: With key re-signing Diego Castro plus former Socceroos  Rhys Williams, Chris Herd and Adam Taggart (all WA boys) - there is some serious squad depth at Glory these days.

Up front, Castro, Keogh, Taggart and Harold; down back Williams, Lowry, Grant, Risdon, Mills: Marinkovic, Garcia in midfield (and with holding midfielder Rostyn Griffiths on trial)

Adam Taggart has joined Perth Glory for the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season.

Kenny Lowe has done his transfer business nice and early. Perhaps one more creative option in midfield, and they’ll have all bases covered.

Glory are currently on a tour of Philippines to further assess their squad.

Key signings: Adam Taggart, Rhys Williams, Joe Mills, Liam Reddy, Chris Herd

Click here for the official Perth Glory site

Adelaide United

Assessment so far:  Yet to seriously splash the cash  

Summary: Losing Craig Goodwin, Pablo Sanchez, Bruce Kamau and now Stefan Mauk; there’s some serious quality to replace.

Ryan Kitto and Marc Marino

But ‘In Gui Amor we trust’, is the Reds’ mantra, who no doubt will have a shopping list ready to go as they aim to attract a new set of stars to the Champions of Australia.

Key signings: Marc Marino, Ryan Kitto, Ben Garuccio

Click here for the official Adelaide United site

Newcastle Jets

Assessment so far: Solid

Summary: A major clean out of personnel in the off-season means coach Scott Miller has a big task of rebuilding a squad which has failed to make the finals for six consecutive seasons.

After recording a competition-low 28 goals in 2015/16, the Jets badly need to reinforce their stocks in the front third.

Wayne Brown and Andrew Hoole are good additions to the squad, as is the re-signing of Danish striker Morten Nordstrand, but they need at least another two players to bolster the squad.

Wayne Brown is buzzing for the FFA Cup clash against Melbourne Victory.

With new Chinese owners on board, a proven goal-scorer is top of the priority list for the Hunter club along with an attacking midfielder to provide some creativity in attack.

Defensively, the Jets look solid. Croatian youth international Ivan Vujica has been brought in to fill the problematic left-back position and looks a good pick-up.  

Former Roar midfielder Devante Clut is a shrewd signing and Miller will be hoping the enigmatic playmaker can fulfill his undoubted potential at Hunter Stadium. 

Key signings: Devante Clut, Wayne Brown, Jack Duncan, Ivan Vujica, Andrew Nabbout, Andrew Hoole.

Click here for the official Newcastle Jets site

Melbourne City

Assessment so far:  Very good business

Summary: They’ve outshone cross-town rivals Victory with an excellent set of signings thus far. And of course, a certain current Socceroo legend may also be on his way but when you bring in Kilkenny, Muscat, Kamau and Brattan, you’d have to say JVS has done some very tidy business in the transfer market.

Neil Kilkenny.

Key signing: Neil Kilkenny, Manny Muscat, Bruce Kamau, Luke Brattan

Click here for the official Melbourne City site

Melbourne Victory

Assessment so far:  Transfer news to come... 

Summary: This is the one club where we expect a whole lot of signings to cover a large turnover since last season.

One thing for sure, the squad will have a vastly different look to it without the likes of Archie, Vukovic, Delpierre, Finkler and Barbarouses.

The big signing so far has been experienced Spanish defender Alan Baro, who’s in for the retiring French star Mathieu Delpierre. 

New Melbourne Victory signing Alan Baro outside AAMI Park.

And Mitch Austin’s a pacy winger who impressed against Victory in Geelong last season for the Mariners.

Victory are rumoured to be in the market for Brett Holman, who’d be a very handy pick up.

Key signings: Alan Baro, Mitch Austin

Click here for the official Melbourne Victory site

Western Sydney Wanderers

Assessment so far:  High-quality trio of signings

Summary: Wanderers fans have gotten used to a carousel of signings in recent years – the turnover has been quite extraordinary.

So it’s been heartening to see a smaller number of high-quality foreign and local players signing up for Tony Popovic.

Japanese Kusukami, Uruguayan Pinatares and former Socceroo Robbie Cornthwaite: all three should do very well.

Wanderers' new Japanese signing Jumpei Kusukami.

And just having Jerrad Tyson back ‘home’ is comforting for the red and black fans – the number two keeper is surely one of the most popular players in the league and will push Andrew Redmayne all the way for that number one spot.

Key signings: Jumpei Kusukami, Bruno Pinatares, Robbie Cornthwaite, Steven Lustica, Jerrad Tyson

Click here for the official Wanderers site