Sydney FC is making drastic adjustments of its squad after failing in the Asian Champions and A-League fixtures.
Eight players were released with more on the block as the search for a new striker and goalkeeper began in earnest. The cuts were announced when the Sky Blues exited the Asian Champions League on Wednesday as coach Graham Arnold sought to relieve the squad of underperformers immediately.
Arnold met with reserve goalkeepers Ivan Necevski and Anthony Gouzanis, three defenders and three forwards to inform them that their tenures with Sydney were at an end.
Three others had been released previously, leaving the team with 15 players for next season, but some of those are expected to exit over contract issues. Striker Shane Smeltz and winger Andrew Hoole are questionable to return, as negotiations with Alex Brosque and Matt Simon have yet to be resolved.
Sydney chairman Scott Barlow has made it clear to Arnold that funds will be available to find a second marquee and another goal scorer will receive precedence in Sydney’s recruitment efforts. The need is obvious, as even in a low scoring game, the Sky Blues scored only 36 goals in 27 games, placing them near the bottom of the order.