Sydney United – Serious Contenders For 2008


With the great exploits of the A-League over the past three seasons – a rich history of State teams, and most importantly, Australia?s ?former? major competition the National Soccer League (NSL), deserves mention.
Sydney United, a club that is this year celebrating their 50th season of football, has played a colossal role in the development of the game in this country.
Having produced no-less than 29 A-International representatives ? along with many Youth International players, the Reds from Edensor Park are hungry to maintain that passion shared by so many great sides of the past.
Following the memorable win in the 2006 edition of the NSW Premier League, a new group of players will be aiming to re-capture the successes of that side ? against all the odds.
TeleChoice Premier League 2007 delivered less than what a big club like Sydney United and their supporters would come to expect, so hopes are high for silverware in 2008.
In-charge of the senior squad this season is Ivan Petkovic ? a former Sydney United player who holds a wealth of experience from his playing days in Europe.
Petkovic, who most recently coached St George Saints and Rockdale City Suns in the NSW Super League, has assembled a skillful group of players, and hopes to bring Sydney United back to the top of NSW?s senior competition.
?We have started well this season with some good performances in the pre-season and now with the competition,? commented the Sydney United boss.
?In pre-season I wanted the team to improve with each match and not look at the score-board too much ? now that the season has started it is important to get the good results, but still important to improve with the performances.?
Sydney United?s campaign has started strongly with the Reds securing two-wins and a draw from their opening three fixtures in the TeleChoice Premier League.
An opening day 3-1 defeat of Blacktown City Demons ? followed by a morale boosting 3-0 defeat of neighbours Marconi Stallions ? the Reds find themselves in second-spot on the ladder, having already faced three of the bigger forces in the competition; Bankstown City included.
In anticipation of this weekend?s clash with West Sydney Berries, Petkovic does not want his team to become complacent.
?We have started well, though against Bankstown City (last weekend) there were a few things that I wasn?t very happy with.
?Bankstown is a very good side, and not too many teams will go there (Jensen Park) and get points from them. For this reason I am happy with that result.
?We still made too many mistakes. Our counter-attack was not very precise and we failed to make the last pass on at least three occasions; this could have given us three-points.?
Petkovic has added the likes of Elsid Barkhousir and son Andrija Petkovic to the squad this season, both players who have played an important role thus far.
?Yes, I am happy with both of these players. I think they are doing well, but they are still quite inexperienced. They are coming from a lower level of football last season and they are both very young.
?They will make some big improvements still and will be very important for Sydney United,? commented Petkovic.
Sydney FC?s Ben Vidaic made his debut for the new season against Bankstown City and did show his worth in the 40? minutes he got to play in the second-half.
?I am happy to have (Ben) Vidaic too. He will get better as he gets into form now. He will also be an important player for our season, along with the experienced players in midfield and defence,? Petkovic concluded.
-By Joseph Carlucci