Report Card - Sydney FC

Sydney FC outdid long-time rivals Melbourne Victory and troubled Brisbane Roar, but never really clicked.

Only Melbourne Victory topped Sydney FC when it came to bringing in a star marquee player to the league in season 2011/12, but Sydney FC won the perennial battle of one-upmanship with their southern rivals on the pitch, making finals and proving at least in this season that they were the better team.

And while they made the finals Vitezslav Lavicka-s men certainly left it late to make it to the dance producing a stunning run that ultimately tipped Newcastle out of the finals series, before falling in an entertaining battle with Wellington thanks to a late Paul Ifill penalty.

They did have other moments to remember though. The good - beating Brisbane Roar at Kogarah and ending the orange army-s record winning streak, a game that featured a Brett Emerton goal straight from a corner and then the ugly... the spat between Besart Berisha and Pascal Bosschart that Berisha wanted to continue in the bowels of Suncorp Stadium.

Ultimately though it was a season of disappointment for one of the biggest club-s in the A-League, and one that would result in zero silverware.


The late season goalkeeping change worked wonders for Sydney FC as there was little doubting Liam Reddy was not even keeping in close to his best form, but in his defence some calamitous defence at times made him look worse than he was, then Ivan Necevski came in, displaying great form and eventually picked up Player of the Year honours despite playing only nine games.

Having said that 42 goals conceded showed that the Sky Blues were far from solid at the back and had the worst defence in the top six and conceded just two less goals than Adelaide United who were the league worst for defence... enough said.


The addition of Brett Emerton initially didn-t add a whole lot to the side, but as the season went on the star recruit began to pick up on the nuances of the way the local game is played these days and put in plenty of solid shifts out wide, though at times it did seem like his final delivery was lacking a bit of accuracy, although perhaps that could be put down to some rough pitches.

While Emerton will be better for the season one man who took things up a notch was Nicky Carle. The mercurial midfielder recaptured enough of his best form to pick up a recall to the Socceroos squad and was an important focal point when it came to setting up his strikers.

Terry Antonis also impressed enough to get himself a trial with Borussia Mönchengladbach.


It seemed to take forever and a day for Lavicka to get his attacking set up right and just when he had settled on exciting youngster Joel Chianese and Bruno Cazarine up front and it looked as if they had a great partnership blossoming the club let Cazarine go.

Chianese though is an outstanding prospect around the box and creates plenty of opportunities, if he starts taking more of them he could stamp himself as a real player of the future. Perhaps a combination with Dimitri Petratos could beckon next season.


One of the most successful coaches in Sydney FC-s short history left at the end of the season and while the players tried to give him a fitting farewell he never quite had the cattle to match the top teams in the league, but he did have the managerial nous to give Brisbane Roar fits on multiple occasions. Not a bad season by anyone-s standards.

Vitezslav Lavicka: 27 games, 10 wins, 9 losses, 8 draws; 38 points from a possible 63.

Sydney FC Overall Grade: C