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A-League 2009/10 preview - Sydney FC

The club who were once touted as 'Bling FC' have gone a long way to changing the culture this pre-season. Gone is the razzle dazzle of big-name overseas signings and international friendlies and in comes a more relaxed attitude which has seen the Sky Blues almost fly straight under the radar during the off season.

The club has appointed little known Czech tactician Vitezslav Lavicka as its new coach and he has had a positive impact on the players and officials alike by all reports.

With him comes Slovakian midfielder Karol Kisel from Sparta Prague (where Lavicka last coached) who is expected to fill an important role in the centre of the park.

The Sky Blues may rely on former National Youth League stars Kofi Danning, Brendan Gan and Rhyan Grant who have come on in leaps and bounds but add to that the experience of Steve Corica (possibly in his last season), John Aloisi and Simon Colosimo and the squad has the nice blend of young and older players that every club seems to strive for.

The addition of Korea Republic international Sung-Hwan Byun and the Swiss Stephan Keller in defence will make up for the loss of Iain Fyfe who has returned to South Australia and veteran Tony Popovic who retired during last season but the Sky Blues will need to turn things around at both ends of the pitch if they are to atone for last season's debacle in which they missed the finals for the first time since the league's inception.

Arrivals: Karol Kisel (Sparta Prague, Czech Republic), Sebastian Ryall (Melbourne Victory), Kofi Danning (Sydney FC NYL), Brendan Gan (Sydney FC NYL), Antony Golec (Sydney FC NYL), Rhyan Grant (Sydney FC NYL), Matthew Jurman (Sydney FC NYL), Stephan Keller (De Graafschap, Holland), Byun Sung-Hwan (Jeju United, Korea Republic)

Departures: Adam Biddle (released), Beau Busch (North Queensland Fury), Mike Enfield (released), Iain Fyfe (Adelaide United), Robbie Middleby (North Queensland Fury), Tony Popovic (retired), Brendon Santalab (North Queensland Fury), Jacob Timpano (North Queensland Fury), Nik Tsattalios (Newcastle Jets)

Biggest signing: Karol Kisel

Biggest loss: Iain Fyfe/Tony Popovic

Key men: Alex Brosque (striker/midfielder), John Alosi (striker keen to atone for poor season), Karol Kisel (midfielder), Stephan Keller (defender)

Team list:Goalkeepers - Clint Bolton, Ivan Necevski

Defenders - Sung-Hwan Byun, Shannon Cole, Rhyan Grant, Stephan Keller, Matthew Jurman, Antony Golec, Sebastian Ryall

Midfielders - Adam Casey, Alex Brosque, Simon Colosimo, Steve Corica, Kofi Danning, Brendan Gan, Karol Kisel, Terry McFlynn, Stuart Musialik, Mitchell Prentice

Forwards - John Aloisi, Mark Bridge, Chris Payne

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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