Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold believes the influx of quality foreign signings during the off-season, combined with the homecoming of Tim Cahill is set to take the Hyundai A-League to a new level in Season 2016/17.
Speaking at the unveiling of his side’s new marquee signing Bobo on Monday, Arnold praised the scouting work being done by all ten clubs as they scour the globe to find a proven performer or hidden gem that can strengthen their squad – and ultimately the A-League.
“I think Timmy coming home, being the first time he’s played club football in Australia, is a fantastic signing for the A-League and it should create and it will create a lot of publicity in and around the country,” said Arnold.
“Probably the biggest bonus with that is that Timmy is coming home hungry because he still has a lot of desire to play for the national team.”
Along with the marquee signings of Cahill and Bobo the A-League has attracted the likes of Thomas Kristensen, Marco Rojas and Bruno Piñatares for the new campaign.
The retention of Diego Castro and Bruno Fornaroli will be a huge boost to their side’s respective campaigns, while Caltex Socceroos James Troisi, Adam Taggart, Bernie Ibini and Josh Brillante have all returned home.
“You look at the players around, we played Brisbane on Saturday and their new Danish signing Kristensen looks a very good player.
“The foreign boys getting signed by all clubs are going to make our competition stronger and stronger.
“The Australian players are getting better and better as the league gets older also.”
Sydney FC will take another step in their pre-season when they travel to Dorrien Gardens to face Perth Glory in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 next week.
The Sky Blues have returned home following a week long training camp on the Gold Coast that included a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar, with Arnold confident in the depth at his disposal.
“We’ve got competition for places. We’ve got two quality players for each position.” said Arnold.
“Matt Simon scored a fantastic goal against Brisbane and Matt Simon will fight for his place like the other 19,20 players.
“We’ve got good experience in the team and that’s the only way you can drive players to success and that’s what we’re looking for.
“It’s no secret that Sydney hasn’t won a trophy for seven years and that is driving this club.”