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Key Signings For The Upcoming A-League Season

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The A-League season starts at the end of October and Australia is gearing up for yet another outstanding contest from their favourite local sides. There have been a number of crucial transfers this off-season, with clubs aiming to secure their talent and plug their weak spots. Both national and international signings have brought new strengths to teams that needed it the most.

International Signings

The A-League is still in its infancy, and so it can be difficult for club managers to secure top international talent. Australian clubs tend to offer lower wages than those in Europe and may come across as a step backwards.

Still, there have been a number of notable transfers, some of which were covered in the previous article. One notable transfer is Steven Taylor, an ex-Newcastle City defender who was excellent during his prime time in the Premier League, but has since played for lower league clubs.

Steven Taylor actually exemplifies the international transfer situation in Australia. Like many of the signings from abroad, Taylor is getting towards the end of his career. Professional football is not like the video games. A player cannot run forever, and 90 minutes is a long time for older players.

English footballer Adam Le Fondre has joined Sydney FC on a three-year contract. He is known for his finesse within the penalty box – always available and always poaching goals. He will have difficult boots to fill replacing the popular Brazilian striker ‘Bobo’, who scored the most goals in last season’s A-League, as well as scoring 20 goals in the shortest amount of time. Hopefully, Le Fondre can keep up the goalscoring for Sydney, though again he is no longer in his youth.

Add to this extensive list of international transfers, Alexander Baumjohann. The German ex-Bayern Munich star will join Western Sydney Wanderers in attacking midfield. Originally from not so far across the waters, New Zealand born Matthew Ridenton will move from Wellington Phoenix to Newcastle Jets, reuniting with former manager Ernie Merrick at his new club. Adelaide will be joined by Danish striker Ken Ilso, while Japanese striker Keisuke Honda will be with Melbourne Victory for the 2018/19 season and onwards.

Ross McCormack has also joined Central Coast Mariners on loan from Aston Villa. The Scottish player can make a great impact, and has been capped 14 times for the national team. Will he give the Mariners the attacking power that they need to move out of the pits of the competition?

National Talent

There have been a number of important national signings in the off-season this year.

There have been a number of important national signings in the off-season this year.

Melbourne City have signed Perth-born Mark Birighitti on a three-year deal. Birighitti has played for Premier League team Newcastle United in his glory days and has represented the Australian national side. He has proven shot-stopping prowess, and unlike many of the international transfers, he is young and in his prime. Melbourne have had problems with their keepers in the past, especially since Thomas Sorenson retired, but Birighitti could be the one to fill the gap.

Along with making international signings for players such as Danish winger Tobias Mikkelsen, Brisbane Roar have secured a four year deal for Stefan Mauk, a young attacking midfielder who has shown promise during his time at NEC. With Brett Holman missing around half of the games last season, there’s plenty of space for Mauk to join the squad, and he could provide the service that new Aussie striker Adam Taggart needs. Taggart also signed with Brisbane in 2018, so this could be a double-transfer worth keeping an eye on!

Perth Glory have landed themselves a signing with Matthew Spiranovic, the Australian defender who has had 35-caps for the national side. He makes for a welcome move to the club, and is expected to strengthen the often vulnerable defence, perhaps raising hopes of a more successful campaign this season. It’s tempting to focus on attacking talent, but a solid and clear-headed defender can make a big difference.

That’s a round up of some of the important transfers that took place this off-season. The new season is just around the corner, so we’ll soon find out how the new signings will actually impact the game, and whether they can make a difference for their respective teams.

Enjoy the season!

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avatarThis post was written by a Staff Writer for Ultimate A-League

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