A-League Transfers update

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It may be the close season however there has been plenty of news going around the league since Brisbane defeated the Wanderers in May to conclude season 9 of the competition. Here’s a wrap up of the completed moves to date.

Adelaide
17 players signed: 5 foreign, 0 marquee.

In: James Jeggo (Melbourne Victory), Dylan McGowan (Hearts- Scotland)
Out: Daniel Bowles (released), Jake Barker-Daish (released), Jon McKain (released), Michael Zullo (FC Utrecht- loan return).

Adelaide have been one of the quieter teams this off-season to date with just the two signings to date, although both McGowan and Jeggo figure to be prominent when the season kicks off in October. In terms of departures, Jon McKain is the biggest loss of the off-season to date for the Reds, with the two parties failing to come to terms on a contract extension. Youngsters Jacob Melling, Jake Barker- Daish and Daniel Bowles have all been released, with the latter linked in the media with Brisbane earlier in the close season. In addition the Reds are reportedly shopping Jeronimo Neumann around in order to free up a visa spot with an eye to improving the side, and also the impending reduction of foreigners in 2015 from 5 to 4.

Looking to strengthen: Defence.
For all their attacking firepower, Adelaide still appears to be short on defensive options as things stand. At least one central defender figures to be on the agenda for Gombau, and possibly a left back with just the ageing Cassio – who missed last season injured- as an option as things stand.
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Brisbane:
19 players signed: 4 foreign, 2 marquee.

In: Devante Clut (youth promotion)
Out: Matt Acton (Yangon United- Burma), Diogo Ferreira (Perth Glory), Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory)

The champions have been relatively inactive thus far in the transfer market, with just Devante Clut added to the first team squad- and that was announced months ago. Berisha is obviously the biggest loss, with the Albanian set to become Melbourne Victory’s marquee man and finding a replacement has been the priority. Diogo Ferreira has opted to go West in search of a longer term contract with the rebuilding Perth, while Matt Acton was surprisingly let go in the back-up keepers role.

Looking to strengthen: Upfront.
The biggest move Brisbane will make this off-season is upfront, and Mike Mulvey is returning to Germany in the search for the clubs next marksman. 1860 striker Benjamin Lauth and Freiburg’s Mike Hanke both reported targets of Mulvey. They also need a back-up keeper and to that end we’ve seen strong rumours that English based Jamie Young would be the replacement, however that is yet to be confirmed by the club. In addition to a new striker and a backup keeper, they will also be looking for depth given their rigorous upcoming season with added games in the ACL and with that in mind Daniel Bowles has been linked to the club as defensive depth.
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Central Coast
18 players signed: 2 foreign, 0 marquee

In: Anthony Kalik (Australian Institute of Sport)
Out: Justin Pasfield (Tampines- Singapore), Adam Kwasnik (retired), Bernie Ibini- Isei (Shanghai Dongya- loan return), Mile Sterjovski (retired), Marcos Flores (Newcastle).

The Mariners are another team who’ve yet to make many moves in the off-season suggesting that either Phil Moss is happy with his current group, or is unable to secure his targets as yet. With 18 players signed and still a few key players yet to have their futures officially confirmed –Matt Simon and Matt Duke- it will be interesting to see which direction the Mariners go in as we approach the new season. Youngster Anthony Kalik is well regarded at the AIS and could be the next Mustafa Amini or Tom Rogic. Not a lot has happened in Gosford since the season ended.

Looking to strengthen: Upfront.
With just real recognised strikers officially signed on –there’s a good chance at least 1 of Duke and Simon are signed up-, they will need some more firepower, and perhaps a different type of player than they currently have before the season starts. Perhaps this is where their 3 visa spots could come into play.
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Melbourne City
17 players signed: 2 foreign, 0 marquee, 1 guest.

In: Aaron Mooy (Western Sydney), Jacob Melling (Adelaide), James Brown, Connor Chapman (both Newcastle), David Villa (New York City- USA (10 game guest stint))
Out: Patrick Gerhardt, Sam Mitchinson, David Vrankovic, Jeremy Walker, Orlando Engelaar (all released), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor- loan return), Harry Kewell (retired)

It’s all change for the team formerly known as the Heart with a new name and colours linking the club with their new owners other clubs. Transfer wise they’ve been busy as well with some strong signings including youngster Aaron Mooy and Connor Chapman. They’ve also made the signing of the season with Spanish World Cup star David Villa set to play the first part of the season for City before starting his new life in New York from 2015. They’ve not lost too many players of note, however Aziz Behich’s loan spell has come to an end and Harry Kewell has retired.

Looking to strengthen: Front third.
City look solid enough at the back –although a left back is needed-, in the front third however they’ll be looking to add some extra quality. Someone to create the chances from midfield is needed, with Marco Bresciano linked to the club as a marquee player. They’ll also need someone to fill the void when Villa’s guest stint comes to an end.
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Melbourne Victory
19 signed: 3 foreign, 1 marquee.

In: Besart Berisha (Brisbane), Carl Valeri (Ternana- Italy)
Out: Tom Rogic (Celtic- loan return), James Troisi (Atalanta – loan return) Adama Traore (released), Pablo Contreras (retired)

Victory haven’t stood still either in light of what their cross-town rivals have done, adding the league’s best striker to an already impressive attacking group. Carl Valeri also figures to be a good addition to the midfield third, especially as Mark Milligan is reportedly attracting the interest of Middle-Eastern and European teams once again. Elsewhere, on-loan duo Tom Rogic and James Troisi will return to their parent clubs next season, while Adama Traore has decided to leave Australia after 5 years and pursue opportunities in Europe.

Looking to strengthen: Defence.
The backline has been the problem for the Victory in recent times, with a lack of experience perhaps one of the reasons the side fell at the semi-final hurdle in the past two seasons. With Adama Traore and Pablo Contreras both departing, Muscat will surely be looking to acquire a defender of note to shore things up.
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Newcastle
21 players signed: 2 foreign, 0 marquee.

In: Adrian Madaschi (Jeju United- Korea), Joshua Barresi (Western Sydney), Marcos Flores (Central Coast)
Out: Joey Gibbs, Nick Ward, Josh Mitchell, Emilie Heskey (all released), Ruben Zadkovich (Perth), Connor Chapman and James Brown (Melbourne City), Michael Bridges (retired).

New Jets boss Phil Stubbins has wasted little time stamping his impression on the Newcastle squad with one of his first moves sanctioning the release of club captain Ruben Zadkovich to join Perth. Adding experience seems to have been one of the goals this season with Adrian Madaschi and Marcos Flores joining to provide experience to what is a young squad. Some of those youngsters, most notably Connor Chapman at Melbourne City, have sought an opportunity elsewhere while marquee man Emilie Heskey wont be back for a third season. There are also doubts over the futures of Mark Birighitti and Adam Taggart, with Birighitti strongly linked with Bayer Leverkusen, while top scorer Taggart may also attract offers if he impresses in the World Cup.

Looking to strengthen: Midfield.
Newcastle have done a good job this off-season of filling gaps in their side with the signings of Madaschi and Flores along with the re-signings of David Carney and Joel Griffiths. The only area that may require strengthening is the middle of the park where currently relying on Zenon Caravella to carry the load along with a bunch of youngsters including the promising Joshua Brillante.
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Perth
21 signed: 3 foreign, 0 marquee.

In: Diogo Ferreira (Brisbane), Dino Djulbic (Al Wahda- UAE), Youssouf Hersi (Western Sydney), Andy Keogh (Milwall), Ruben Zadkovich (Newcastle).
Out: Ryan Edwards (Reading- loan return), Darvydas Sernas (Gaziantepspor- Turkey), Jacob Burns (retired), Travis Dodd (released), Adrian Zahra (released), Steven McGarry (released), Shane Smeltz (Sydney).

Perth have wasted little time in turning over their roster after a somewhat surprising decision to retain coach Kenny Lowe despite poor results at the back end of last season. The squad looks to be much stronger with Djulbic, Hersi and Keogh strengthening the spine of the side. The combative Jacob Burns has been replaced by the equally so Ruben Zadkovich, while veterans Travis Dodd and Steven McGarry have departed the club.

Looking to strengthen: Depth.
Perth figures to have already made the big moves they intended to make and will be looking to add to the squad with some depth in the lead-up to the new season. It’s likely that given the mandate of promoting kids from the Western Australian System, and further signings will likely come from that direction.
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Sydney
18 players signed: 2 foreign, 0 marquee.

In: Shane Smeltz (Perth), Bernie Ibini (Shanghai Dongya- loan)
Out: Brett Emerton (Retired), Terry McFlynn (Retired), Alessandro Del Piero (released), Richard Garcia (Minnesota United- USA), Marc Warren (APIA Leichardt- NSWPL), Blake Powell (APIA Leichardt- NSWPL), Mitchell Mallia, Matt Thompson, Josh MacDonald, Ranko Despotovic, Joel Chianese (all released).

Another team under a new manager with Sydney dispensing of Frank Farina’s services and offering a lifeline to Graham Arnold after his unsuccessful stint in Japan ended after just three months. He’s so far brought in just the two local players in Ibini and Smeltz, with the remainder of the squad likely to comprise of youngster promoted from their NYL winning team, foreign players and a pair of new marquee players. One of which if you believe the rumours could be Alex Brosque. Going the other way were host of players, including marquee man Alessandro Del Piero, Richard Garcia and Ranko Despotovic who netted a combined 22 goals for the Sky Blues last campaign.

Looking to strengthen: Up front.
With Sasa Ognenovski filling the void in the heart of the defence, the Sky Blues will be looking to flex their financial muscle to bring in a pair of attacking marquee players before the start of the new season. They’ll also however need to fill the left back slot which has been a problem position for the Sydneysiders in recent times.
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Wellington
19 players signed: 3 foreign, 0 marquee.

In: Alejandro Gorrin (Sunderland- England), Michael McGlinchey (Central Coast via Vegalta Sendai- Japan).
Out: Luke Adams, Josh Brindell-South, Paul Ifill, Leo Bertos, Stein Huysegems (all released).

After a solid first season Ernie Merrick is looking to make his mark on the Phoenix roster and he acted quickly to sign Sunderland’s u/21 squad captain Alejandro Gorrin to bolster his midfield and reports today suggest he’s also added All Whites creative spark Michael McGlinchey to the mix. If so those additions should go a long way to replacing Carlos Hernandez, who asked for a release from the final year of his deal and joins top scorer Stein Huysegems, Paul Ifill and Leo Bertos in leaving the Nix.

Looking to strengthen: Defence.
Wellington were reasonable going forward last year and have some impressive youngsters, and while they will need to replace Huysegems goals, their defence also needs work. With first choice duo Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante getting old and little cover for them, or the full-back roles Merrick will likely be looking to find some solutions in the coming months.
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Western Sydney
17 players signed: 2 foreign, 0 marquee.

In: Dean Bouzanis (Carlisle- England)
Out: Jerrad Tyson, Jerome Polenz, Adam D’Apuzzo, Michael Beauchamp, Tahj Minnieccon (All released), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Joshua Barresi (Newcastle), Youssouf Hersi (Perth), Shinji Ono (Consadole Sapporo- Japan), Dean Heffernan (Retired).

The now independently owned Wanderers will be looking to bounce back from another Grand Final loss and also prepare for the final stages of the Champions League. With that in mind Tony Popovic has been typically ruthless in turning his squad over with a host of regulars departing the club in the close season. Since the Grand Final loss to Brisbane they’ve lost six first team regulars including marquee Shinji Ono making next season a rebuilding year of sorts for the Wanderers. So far that rebuilding consists of Dean Bouzanis who could take the #1 jersey away from Ante Covic this year, along with Antony Golec who was signed in January but ineligible for the A-League.

Looking to strengthen: Out wide/ creativity.
Both in attack and defence, the Wanderers wide areas figure to be overhauled in the coming months with their dangerous right hand side combination moving on along with D’Apuzzo on the left. They’ll also be in the market for some creativity after the losses of Ono and Mooy.

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