Full steam ahead for Sydney FC
Tuesday June 19, 2012
Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata has declared the Sky Blues are charging “full steam ahead” to the start of the 2012/13 Hyundai A-League after FFA today announced the fixture list.
The start of the Sydney Derby, two visits by arch rivals Melbourne Victory and another A-League match at a suburban ground highlight the fixture list for Sydney FC, which begins on Saturday 6 October when the Sky Blues travel to Wellington to take on the Phoenix.
The first home game of the season will also have an edge with fellow NSW rivals Newcastle Jets coming to Allianz Stadium on October 13 before the first “Sydney Derby” lights up the A-League on Saturday October 20.
The first Sydney Derby at Allianz Stadium will take place on Saturday 15 December.
“There’s a lot for our Members and fans to be excited about with the draw. It’s now full steam ahead to the start of the season,” Pignata said. “We have the first ever Sydney Derby, we host Melbourne Victory twice and we’ll be taking another A-League game to a suburban ground.
“We have 13 home games and now that we have the draw we will put the finishing touches on the Membership program and release those packages early next week.
“It is exciting to have a focus for all of our pre season planning and we look forward to the start of what promises to be a benchmark season, especially for Sydney.”
Sydney FC has been handed a good mix of matchday timeslots with four Sunday afternoon clashes (5pm kick off) and seven Saturday matches (four at 5:30pm and three at 7:45pm) with one Friday night game (November 23 vs Adelaide) and one Thursday Christmas fixture (December 27).
“We’re happy with the wide range of timings for the matches and we’ll be taking a match to a suburban ground in round four,” Pignata said. “We are currently speaking to several venues across Sydney and will make an announcement shortly.
“We do have some challenges in terms of a lot of back-to-back matches at Allianz Stadium and the travel associated with two matches away to Perth and two away to Wellington but overall we are excited by what has been released.”
Head Coach Ian Crook echoed Pignata’s thoughts, calling on Sydney football fans to embrace the Derby while looking with excitement at the first home game against Newcastle and acknowledging the challenge in double trips to Perth and Wellington.
“It (the first Sydney Derby) has come early so it’ll be great for both clubs. It’s something that we should embrace,” Crook said. “I think what Melbourne has done with the derby between Heart and Victory has been brilliant. If we can re-create the same kind of atmosphere and feeling within the derby I think it will be brilliant.
“It’s challenging certainly (two matches away in Perth and Wellington). I probably wasn’t expecting Wellington away twice because we were away to them twice last year but it’s a difficult place to go and the same with Perth after the season they have had, so both tough games.”
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