Grand Final - Perth vs Sydney FC - 19/05/19 - Match thread


Sydney FC marquee Siem de Jong has failed to train with the side just three days out from the A-League grand final, with the club confirming their star player called in sick with a fever just three days before the A-League grand final.

After complaining of illness to the club’s medical staff in the morning, the Dutch international was told not to come to training and remain at home instead, with Sydney FC cautious of any sickness sweeping through their squad ahead of their match away to Perth Glory on Sunday.

De Jong’s illness has disrupted his preparations for the decider though Sydney FC are hoping it won’t rule him out of the fixture at Optus Stadium. Despite not training on Thursday, de Jong will travel to Perth with the squad on Friday morning. Club sources told the Herald de Jong was given the day off on Thursday as a precaution, and they are confident the illness will not rule him out of decider.

Injuries have interrupted de Jong’s season with Sydney FC but the former Ajax man has still provided plenty of memorable moments in his year-long loan with the Sky Blues. Sydney are confident he will be able to provide one last contribution before his loan spell ends. Should he not be fit enough to start, it could open the door for Anthony Cacerers to partner attacking midfielder Milos Ninkovic in the grand final.

While de Jong’s fever was hardly welcome news for Sydney FC’s coaching staff, they were buoyed by the return of Michael Zullo to full training. The left back suffered a shoulder knock during their 6-1 win over Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s semi-final but is on course to be back to full fitness in time to face Perth Glory.

Sydney centre-back Alex Wilkinson has been almost ever-present for the Sky Blues since arriving three years ago, playing in 83 of a possible 85 A-League games. While he has been a consistent feature in the heart of Sydney’s defence, he has been forced to adapt to plenty of changes around him. Despite upheaval caused by player availabilities, he’s maintained a lead a strong backline and improving the performances of those around him to the extent some pundits have dubbed it “the Wilkinson effect”. However, he is refusing to claim responsibility for raising the standard, suggesting that much comes from the club’s head coach, Steve Corica.

“I don’t know if there is any truth to that at all. When the younger guys come in, it’s important that as a senior player you communicate with them, talk to them and keep that communication going throughout the game,” Wilkinson said. “We do a lot of game situations on the pitch and when a player is called upon to step in they know exactly what’s required of them and that’s a credit of the coaching staff.”




We really need Siem at his best.


Castro is Gastro!


Can I just take this moment to point out that it’s fucking poor form to not post the link to the article.


I love the media BS that uses an actual illness to highlight injuries during the season…


Oh my first bought of real nerves just hit. Two days to go.


No surprises if this is true…


Not surprising that someone in the FFA would think that is a good idea.


I would guess the independent A-League would not allow even such a thought to enter their heads.


This is in the Tele today:


Haha so it’s a stupid afc rule that saved them from a moron decision.


Do you really think that rule would stop the FFA from going through with it??? I can fully see them going ahead knowing that players would miss out


I’d like to point out that talking about winning the GF is making me very nervous, can we stop trying to jinx ourselves please?


Yes, it’s only 2 days out and not a single post about body parts being blasted or players taking it easy and thinking they’ve won it


We’re fucked. Fold the club, etc.


Nothing short of a 50-0 thrashing of Perth should culminate with an instant sacking of Corica, ritual sacrifice of the team and the moving of the entire team to play out of Ashfield Park, without the main lighting

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Sadly it doesn’t say its saved them, only that players in the ACL squad will be the only ones allowed on the pitch.


Whose mother is worse; Reddy or Santalab?