Sydney FC

This article is about the men's association football team. For the women's association football club, see Sydney FC (W-League).
Sydney Football Club
Full name Sydney Football Club[1][2]
Nickname(s) The Sky Blues
Short name SFC
Founded 1 November 2004 (1 November 2004)
Ground Allianz Stadium
Ground Capacity 45,500
Owner David Traktovenko
Chairman Scott Barlow
Head Coach Graham Arnold
League A-League
2015–16 A-League, 7th
Website Club home page
Active departments of
Sydney FC
Football (Men's) Football Youth (Men's) Football (Women's)

Sydney Football Club /ˈsɪdni/, commonly known as Sydney FC, is an Australian professional football club based in Sydney, New South Wales. It competes in the country's premier competition, the A-League, under licence from Football Federation Australia.[3] The club has won two A-League Championships (in 2006 and 2010) and one Premiership (2009–10) and is the only A-League club to have won the OFC Champions League (in 2005). Since 2006, A-League teams have competed in the AFC Champions League. Sydney FC have participated in the group stage of the AFC Champions League three times, previously in 2006, 2011, and 2016.

ly; in 2007, 2011 and 2016, qualifying for the knock-out phase of the tournament once. Having won titles in the W-League and in the National Youth League Sydney hold the distinction of being the only club to have won the A-League alongside its two affiliated competitions.

The club's home ground is Allianz Stadium, a 45,500 seat multi-use venue in the suburb of Moore Park.[4] As the only A-League team in the city for the first seven years of its existence, the club's fans hail from all across the Sydney Metropolitan Area. Since its establishment, Sydney FC has had a reputation for signing high-profile players.[5] Notable players who have represented the club include Dwight Yorke, Juninho Paulista, John Aloisi, Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill and Alessandro Del Piero.


Main article: History of Sydney FC


Sydney FC playing the Los Angeles Galaxy at ANZ Stadium during 2007.

The first steps towards the foundation of Sydney FC taken in April 2004 when Soccer New South Wales (now Football NSW) announced its intention to bid for a licence in the new A-League competition.[6] The bid was lodged with the Australian Soccer Association (now Football Federation Australia) on 19 July, challenged only by a consortium headed by Nick Politis, known as the "Sydney Blues",[7] for Sydney's place in the 'one team per city' competition.[8] A public row broke out between the two bidders after reports that the ASA were set to vote in favour of Sydney FC,[9] causing Politis to withdraw his support for a team,[10] and leaving Sydney FC as the only candidate remaining.

Sydney FC was officially launched as a member of the new 8-team A-League on 1 November 2004, with a 25% stake in the club held by Soccer NSW, the remainder privately owned.[11] Walter Bugno was announced as the inaugural chairman of the club. On 11 December 2004, Soccer NSW announced that it would pull out of its involvement with Sydney FC amid concerns over part owner Frank Lowy's autocratic style in establishing the club and lack of consultation with Soccer NSW on key Sydney FC issues. These included the choice of the Sydney Football Stadium over Parramatta Stadium as the team's home ground, and the erosion of Soccer NSW's initial 100 per cent involvement to just 25 per cent.[12]

By February 2005, Sydney FC had filled 16 of its allowed 20 squad positions—attracting Socceroos Alvin Ceccoli, Clint Bolton, Steve Corica and David Zdrilic as well as youth internationals Justin Pasfield, Mark Milligan, Wade Oostendorp, Iain Fyfe and Jacob Timpano.[13] German Pierre Littbarski was signed as Head Coach, to be assisted by former Norwich City player Ian Crook. Sydney FC played its first ever match against Manly United FC on 25 March 2005, winning 6–1.[14] Shortly after, Sydney FC set off on a tour to the United Arab Emirates to play matches against local teams FC Hatta, Al Ain FC and Al Jazira, winning all three.[15][16][17] Whilst in Dubai, Sydney FC announced that it had agreed to terms with former Manchester United player Dwight Yorke as the club's "marquee player"– one paid outside of the $1.5million salary cap— for two seasons.[18]

Early years

Sydney FC's first competitive match was against Queensland Roar at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford as part of an Australian qualifying tournament to enter the 2005 Oceania Club Championship. After winning the match 3–0, Sydney went on to defeat Perth Glory and the Central Coast Mariners to qualify for the Oceania Club Championship, to be held in Tahiti. Despite an early scare against New Zealand club Auckland City FC,[19] Sydney FC won all of its matches in the competition and qualified for the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship in Japan. The start of the 2005 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup marked Sydney FC's first match at Allianz Stadium, as well as Dwight Yorke's first appearance for the club. Yorke scored the first goal of Sydney FC's 3–1 win which stretched its unbeaten run to 9 competitive matches (15 including friendlies). Upon reaching the semi-finals, Sydney's unbeaten run finally ended at 11 with Perth Glory midfielder Nick Ward scoring in injury time to inflict the new club's first ever loss.[20]

Sydney FC's first season was ultimately a success. Finishing second on the ladder behind Adelaide United they went on to defeat Central Coast Mariners 1–0 in the 2006 A-League Grand Final with Steve Corica scoring in the second half. However the club's success wouldn't last long, with German manager Pierre Littbarski leaving the club due to being forced to accept a lower pay cheque[21] and inaugural marquee player Dwight Yorke being signed by Premier League club Sunderland.[22] Former English international Terry Butcher was signed as Sydney FC's new coach for 2006–07.[23] However it was regarded as an overall failure, with Sydney playing poor football despite the signing of Alex Brosque and Benito Carbone as a Guest player. Sydney also had 3 points deducted during the season, after it was found that they had breached the Salary cap, involving player David Zdrillic.[24] Despite the off field problems, Sydney managed to scrape into the finals series, however they lost in the semi final to Newcastle Jets. Although Butcher lead the club into the finals, Sydney fans were unhappy with his tactics. In the end Butcher and Sydney FC went their separate ways at the end of the season.[25] Sydney FC would go on to sign Branko Čulina for its 2007 Asian Champions League campaign, where they finished second in the group, one point behind ultimate champions and J-League heavyweights Urawa Red Diamonds. Despite the ACL success, Sydney FC's start to the 2007–08 season was poor, and the club sacked him, replacing him with former Adelaide United manager John Kosmina.[26] Sydney FC played well for the rest of the season but were knocked out in the finals by Brisbane Roar.

Lavicka tenure

Kosmina couldn't repeat the success of the previous season, replacing Brazilian international Juninho with Socceroos hero John Aloisi on a million dollar contract.[27] The club also unveiled Newcastle Jets championship winners Mark Bridge and Stuart Musialik as well as Socceroo Simon Colosimo for the 2008–09 season.[27][28] The season did not live up to expectations even with these key signings. Aloisi didn't perform very well during the season and came under heavy fire. So too did manager Kosmina, whose tactics were seen as controversial. His relationship with the media often became angry and frustrated which didn't help causes. Many players fell out of favour with the coach, including Steve Corica and Clint Bolton.[29] For the first time in the club's history, they failed to make the play-offs. As a result Kosmina was fired when the new ownership of Russian billionaire David Traktovenko took over in March 2009. The fresh change at the club was about to bear fruit, when Sydney announced they had signed Czech Republic manager Vítězslav Lavička.[30] Lavicka completely changed the structure of the club, and for its first time turning it into a serious, European style football club. He kept faith in Steve Corica and John Aloisi and several others who had threatened to walk out on the club, and as a result, Sydney FC won its first premiership in the club's history. Sydney made it to the Grand Final of the fifth season of the A-League after defeating Wellington Phoenix in the preliminary final. The Grand Final was played against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Sydney took the lead after 61 minutes through a Mark Bridge header, just seconds after Melbourne had a goal disallowed for offside. Melbourne equalised through Adrian Leijer in the 81st minute, and the game went on to a penalty shootout with no goals scored in extra time. Melbourne skipper Kevin Muscat missed his penalty, with his shot hitting the post. Sydney FC won the Grand Final 4–2 on penalties which handed the club its second Hyundai A-League Championship.

Sydney FC's title defence did not go smoothly. The club lost key players from its championship-winning side including Steve Corica (retired),[31] Karol Kisel (return to Europe),[32] Simon Colosimo,[33] John Aloisi,[34] and Clint Bolton[35] (all Melbourne Heart). The club however picked up the services of former Socceroo Nick Carle from his stint in England with Crystal Palace. This wasn't enough to steer the team in the right direction. The club was winless for the first ten rounds of the competition. Sydney FC managed to pick up a few points over the next few rounds but another five game losing streak ensured they would not qualify for the finals competition, finishing ninth. The third season under Lavicka began with the major signing of Blackburn Rovers player Brett Emerton to a three year deal.[36] The signing was significant in that Emerton became the first player to directly exchange the FA Premier League for the A-League by terminating his Rovers contract one year early.[37] The season however, only provided minimal success as the club scraped through to the finals series with a 3–2 win over Newcastle Jets in the final round of the regular season. Before the end of the season the club announced that head coach Lavicka's contract would not be renewed for the following season.[38][39]

Farina reign

Sydney FC playing against the Newcastle Jets on October 2012.

"This is huge for Sydney FC, huge for the A-League and huge for Australian football [sic]. We feel honoured that Alessandro has decided to play for Sydney FC and we share his excitement that a move to Sydney FC will create a lasting legacy for football in this country."

—Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow, The Sydney Morning Herald

The 2012–13 season was one of high drama. There was a new appointment of head coach Ian Crook[40] and a high turnover of players in the off season. The expectations changed from a year of rebuilding to title contenders when the club acquired the services of international superstar Alessandro Del Piero.[41][42] He signed on for $2 million per year and became the highest-paid footballer to ever play in the A-League.[43]

After only six weeks into the regular season Sydney were forced to find a new coach with the shock resignation of Crook. He cited the role was "a constant burden" and was adversely affecting his health.[44][45] Frank Farina was confirmed as Crook's successor for the season two games into Steve Corica's interim spell.[46] During the January transfer window, Farina bolstered his defensive stocks with Socceroos captain Lucas Neill[47][48] and Brazilian Tiago Calvano[49] joining the team. The pair made nil significant impact and with a 3–1 loss away from home to Brisbane Roar, Sydney were unable to pick up a vital point that would have seen them play finals football, finishing seventh.

For the 2013–14 pre season, the club became the first club in A-League history to tour in Europe, as Sydney toured in Venice, Italy where the club played against Del Piero's first professional club, Padova, Udinese Calcio, Vicenza Calcio, A.S. Cittadella, Venezia and Reggiana.[50][51] Sydney won half of these six games however upon returning home lost five consecutive friendly games in the lead up to the season proper. Two-thirds of the way into the season and with Sydney FC only accumulating 4 points from 8 games, fans began to express concerns over the vision for the club. Banners at the club's home game against Adelaide included sentiments like "We want Farina gone."[52] There was also a mass exodus from the club's active supporter group, The Cove.[53] The club then held a fan forum to receive questions and communicate the direction of the club.[54] During the last nine rounds, Sydney FC only lost two games making the finals. The club lost to Melbourne Victory in the first week of the finals. This marked the end of the Frank Farina reign.[55][56]

Arnold era

On 8 May 2014, Sydney FC announced its new head coach for the 2014–15 A-League season.[57] With retirements to Brett Emerton in January[58] and Terry McFlynn,[59] and the contract expiration's of marquee player Alessandro Del Piero,[60] foreign player Ranko Despotovic and former Socceroo Richard Garcia, there was a lot of experience to be filled by the club. Arnold announced his first signing on 12 May 2014, acquiring the services of his former Mariner winger Bernie Ibini-Isei.[61] Sydney FC then announced signings of prolific A-League goalscorer Shane Smeltz and Socceroo Alex Brosque.[62] After months of searching Arnold found his new marquee man in Austrian national football team captain Marc Janko.[63] On 8 October 2014, Brosque was announced as the captain of Sydney FC for the 2014–15 A-League season, alongside vice-captains Saša Ognenovski and Nikola Petković.[64] Sydney FC's season began with the highly anticipated match-up against the newly re-branded Melbourne City FC and guest superstar David Villa. Whilst not starting the game, Villa came on early in the second half to claim the equalising goal, the result ending 1–1. Sydney FC continued on an eight-game undefeated streak that ended when Perth Glory came from behind to score two goals in the final seven minutes to claim victory at Allianz Stadium.[65] The following week saw another thrilling Big Blue in Melbourne ending 3–3.[66] Sydney FC struggled for form as they moved closer to the January break for the AFC Asian Cup,[67] not scoring in four consecutive matches. During this break, Sydney FC were able to bolster their stocks, signing Senegalese internationals Mickael Tavares and Jacques Faty as injury replacement players.[68] Upon resumption, Sydney FC posted 19 (out of a possible 21) points in the next seven rounds. Whilst slipping up twice at home to Melbourne City and Adelaide United (with scores of 0–1 in both games) during the final six rounds, Sydney FC managed to win all four other games away from home to finish second on the ladder with 50 points for the season. By the end of the regular season, Sydney FC had broken many records including a record club home season attendance (41,213 vs. Western Sydney Wanderers FC) and a league record number of away games undefeated in a season, as well as becoming the first club to score three or more goals in five consecutive games.[69] Marquee Marc Janko also set his own A-League record for most consecutive goalscoring appearances with seven.[69] After having the first week of the finals off, Sydney FC met Adelaide in the semi-finals at home. A brace from Alex Brosque set Sydney up for a 4–1 win.[70] Ultimately, Sydney FC were outplayed in the 2015 A-League Grand Final, defeated by Melbourne Victory 3–0 at AAMI Park.[71]

Colours and badge

The primary club colour of Sydney FC is sky blue, which represents the state colour of New South Wales. The secondary club colour is navy blue, with additional contrasting colours of orange and white.

The Sydney FC badge was created and used since the clubs founding in 2004. It features a football set centrally in a stylised crest shape. Above the ball is the shape of three shells of the Sydney Opera House, an internationally recognisable symbol of the city of Sydney. Below the ball is the Commonwealth Star, a seven-pointed star symbolising the Federation of Australia.[1]


Period Kit Manufacturer Shirt Sponsor Minor Sponsor
2005–2007 Reebok Healthe HBA Insurance
2007–2009 Bing Lee,
2009–2011 Bing Lee,
MBF Health Insurance,
2011–2012 Adidas UNICEF[72] Sydney Children's Hospital,
2012–2014 Webjet Destination NSW,
2014–2015 Startrack,
2015–2019 Puma Startrack
University of New South Wales


Sydney FC plays its home matches at Allianz Stadium (commonly known as SFS[74]), located in the Sydney suburb of Moore Park. It was built in 1988 to be the premium "rectangular field" for rugby league matches. It is also now used for soccer and rugby union for major matches and domestic competition.

It has been the venue for several Australian international matches (notably World Cup Qualifier against Argentina in 1993). The stadium's capacity was stated at 41,159 prior to renovations in 2007, although the attendance of the 2006 A-League grand final exceeded this number by over 500. The currently stated capacity is 45,500.

Sydney FC have played matches at other Sydney venues. Parramatta Stadium in western Sydney was the venue for an AFC Champions League match against Indonesian football side Persik Kediri in April 2007 when the SFS was unavailable due to an NRL match being played there. A friendly match against Los Angeles Galaxy was played at ANZ Stadium in November 2007 due to its greater capacity, and drew a crowd of 80,295. However, as of 2012 these districts are now represented in the A-League so such a move would be unnecessary. In December 2011, Sydney played a (2–0 winning) match at Kogarah Oval against Brisbane Roar, as the SFS was unavailable due to concerts being held at the ground that weekend.

Panorama of Allianz Stadium prior to Sydney FC defeating Melbourne Victory 2–0 to win the 2009–10 Hyundai A-League Premiership in front of 25,407 fans

Training ground

Sydney FC's primary training ground is at Macquarie University in North Ryde where they use the grounds, and they also have use of the sports and aquatic centre for post match recovery sessions. Occasionally Sydney will train at the SFS and have been seen after home games having recovery sessions at local beaches such as Coogee Beach, Bondi Beach and Maroubra.


Sydney supporters at the northern end at the Allianz Stadium

Sydney FC draw support from right across Sydney, and is one of the most heavily supported clubs in Australia, as they were the only A-League team from Australia's largest city until 2012. The largest supporter group of Sydney FC is known as "The Cove",[75] and are located at the Paddington (northern) end of Allianz Stadium in bays 22– 26. The name came from the original name given to the colonial settlement of Sydney— Sydney Cove.

Cove members attend every home match and also travel as a group around the country to support the team at away matches. As a vocal group, The Cove demonstrates its support by singing football chants, wearing club colours, standing up, waving flags and holding banners. On 7 July 2006, Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes recorded a club song entitled 'Sydney FC For Me' with 25 members of The Cove singing back-up vocals.[76] It was released prior to the start of the 2006–07 season.


See also Sydney FC league record by opponent

Current squads

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Vedran Janjetović
2 Australia DF Sebastian Ryall (Vice-Captain)
3 Australia DF Riley Woodcock
4 Australia DF Alex Wilkinson
5 Australia DF Matthew Jurman
6 Australia MF Joshua Brillante
7 Australia DF Michael Zullo
8 Serbia MF Miloš Dimitrijević
9 Brazil FW Bobô
10 Serbia MF Miloš Ninković
11 Australia FW Bernie Ibini (On loan from Club Brugge)
12 Australia DF Aaron Calver
13 Australia MF Brandon O'Neill
14 Australia FW Alex Brosque (Captain)
No. Position Player
16 Australia DF George Timotheou
17 Australia MF David Carney
18 Australia FW Matt Simon
19 Australia FW George Blackwood
20 Australia GK Danny Vukovic
21 Slovakia FW Filip Hološko
23 Australia MF Rhyan Grant
24 Australia FW Charles Lokolingoy
29 Australia FW Bai Antoniou
30 Australia GK Mitchell Evans
31 Australia GK Thomas Manos
40 England GK Chris Oldfield

Youth squad

Further information: Sydney FC Youth

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Australia GK Mitchell Evans
2 Australia DF Brendan Curtis
3 Australia DF Patrick Flottmann
5 Australia MF Matthew Green
6 Republic of Macedonia MF Nicola Kuleski
7 Australia FW Daniel Maskin
8 Australia FW Juan Zapata
9 Australia FW Bai Antoniou
10 Australia MF Aaron Avery
11 Australia MF Chris Arditti
No. Position Player
12 Australia FW Charles Lokolingoy
13 Australia DF Liam McGing
14 Australia DF Cristian Gonzalez
15 Australia MF Sam McIllhatton
16 Australia DF William Mutch
17 Australia MF Chris Zuvela
18 Australia FW Mani Gonzalez
19 Australia FW John Iredale
20 Australia GK Nick Sorras
21 Australia MF Andrea Agamemnonos

NPL squad


On 21 December 2009, Sydney FC established an academy to develop young players. The main goal of the academy was stated as to produce better players by providing technical and tactical knowledge, as well as to identify potential new talent that could represent Sydney in the National Youth League and A League in future. This began a continued commitment from Sydney to invest in and develop junior talent for the benefit of grassroots football. The initial 26 players taken in were drawn from the NSW State League clubs and consisted of junior players aged between 14–18 years old. They started training with the academy at Macquarie University.[78]


Captains by Years (2005–present) A-League games only.

Name Nat Period
Mark Rudan Australia 2005–07
Tony Popovic Australia 2007–08
Steve Corica Australia 2008–10
Terry McFlynn Northern Ireland 2010–13
Alessandro Del Piero Italy 2013–14
Alex Brosque Australia 2014–

Club officials


Position Name
Chairman Scott Barlow
Director Michael Crismale
Director John Simeone
Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata
Chief Financial Officer Adam Santo
Technical Director Han Berger
A-League Football Manager Terry McFlynn
General Manager, Digital, Media and Communications David Warriner
General Manager, Commercial Nic Barbato

Technical staff

Position Name
Head Coach Australia Graham Arnold
Assistant Coach Australia Steve Corica
Strength/Conditioning Coach Australia Andrew Clark
Goalkeeping Coach Australia John Crawley
Chief Medical Officer Australia Dr. James Lawrence
Physiotherapist Australia Elias Boukarim
Equipment Manager Australia Alex Scardino
Youth Head Coach Australia Robbie Stanton
Youth Assistant Coach Australia David Zdrilic
Youth Goalkeeping Coach
Youth Physiotherapist AustraliaAnthony DeMasi
Youth Team Manager Australia Michael Swibel

Head Coaches

Name Period Record Honours
Pld W D L %
Germany Pierre Littbarski Feb 2005– June 2006 24 12 7 5 50% A-League Champions: 2005–06
OFC Champions League: 2005
England Terry Butcher July 2006– February 2007 23 9 8 6 39%
Australia Branko Culina April 2007– October 2007 9 2 3 4 22%
Australia John Kosmina October 2007– March 2009 35 13 11 11 37%
Czech Republic Vítězslav Lavička February 2009– May 2012 89 35 22 32 39% A-League Premiers: 2009–10
A-League Champions: 2009–10
England Ian Crook May 2012– 11 November 2012 6 2 0 4 33%
Australia Steve Corica (caretaker) 12 November 2012– 27 November 2012 2 0 0 2 0%
Australia Frank Farina 28 November 2012– 23 April 2014 46 19 8 19 41%
Australia Graham Arnold 8 May 2014– present 58 26 18 14 45%

Records only include A-League matches, does not include; friendly matches & competitions, Pre-Season Challenge Cup, Oceania Club Championship, FIFA Club World Championship, Asian Champions League & FFA Cup

Hall of Fame

On 16 March 2015, Sydney FC inducted eight members into its inaugural Hall of Fame at the clubs' 10 year anniversary lunch.[79] Additions inductees are added to the hall of fame at the annual end of season Sky Blue Ball.

Name Role
Steve Corica Foundation player (2005–2010) and captain (2008–2010)
Dwight Yorke Inaugural Marquee player (2005–2006)
Mark Rudan Inaugural captain (2005–2008)
Clint Bolton Foundation player (goalkeeper), 142 appearances (2005–2010)
Terry McFlynn Foundation player, captain (2010–2013), all-time leading appearances (214) across 9 seasons (2005–2014)
Alessandro Del Piero International Marquee player (2012–2014), captain
Pierre Littbarski Inaugural coach (2005–2006), honours— OFC Club Championship (2005) and A-League Championship (2006)
Vitezslav Lavicka Coach (2009–2012), domestic double (A-League Premiership and Championship in 2010)
Alen Stajcic W-League Coach (2008–2014), Premiers (2009,2010/11) Champions (2009,2012/13)


For more details on this topic, see List of Sydney FC records and statistics.

Terry McFlynn currently holds the team all-time record for number of total games played with 214 matches, including a club record 178 league matches. Alex Brosque has the second most appearances of all-time with 144 matches and Clint Bolton has the third most appearances for the club with 142 matches.

Sydney FC's all-time highest goalscorer in all competitions is Alex Brosque with 42 goals. Steve Corica has scored the second most goals for the club with 31 and Sasho Petrovski is third on the list with 26 goals.

Sydney FC's highest home attendance for a league match is 41,213 recorded on 18 October 2014 at Sydney Football Stadium against the Western Sydney Wanderers in the Sydney Derby.[80] The highest home attendance in any fixture is 80,295 recorded on 27 November 2007 for a friendly match against LA Galaxy at Stadium Australia.



Premiers (1): 2009–10
Runners-Up (2): 2005–06, 2014–15
Champions (2): 2006, 2010
Runners-Up (1): 2015
Runners-Up (1): 2016
Club Champions NPL2 Men's | 2016
Premiers NPL2 Men's 1st Grade | 2016
Premiers NPL2 Men's Under 20 | 2016


Champions (1): 2005
Round of 16 (1): 2016
Group Stage (2): 2007, 2011


Fifth-place (1): 2005

See also


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External links

Preceded by
A-League Champions
2005–06 (First title)
Succeeded by
Melbourne Victory
Preceded by
Melbourne Victory
A-League Premiers
2009–10 (First title)
Succeeded by
Brisbane Roar
Preceded by
Melbourne Victory
A-League Champions
2009–10 (Second title)
Succeeded by
Brisbane Roar
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