Sydney FC has taken care of business after announcing the prized signing of Socceroo striker John Aloisi from Central Coast Mariners aswell as fellow Aus-Italian Simon Colosimo from Perth Glory.
Mark Bridge was also signed from current A-League champions Newcastle United Jets.
Sydney’s message that it was leaving no stone unturned in its merciless drive to regain domestic domination was there for all to see.
“Sydney FC has started its renewal and rebuilding process with fresh quality players;” Kemeny said.
“We have this opportunity because some players have not renewed their contract; have not had their contract renewed; have been transferred or have retired.”
“The process will be deliberate; careful and will go on for several months. I expect the final squad to be less than permitted because this time we are going for quality not quantity.”
Coach John Kosmina was more specific of Sydney’s plans to feed its “culture of success”.
“Professional sport is all about pressure;” he said when asked if the signing of the ‘three titans’ was designed to put some under-performing players in the squad on notice.
“If you haven’t got competition for your place in the team you do get comfortable. It’s natural and human nature.”
“A couple of the players might be saying ‘what are we doing here’ but if you want to better yourself as a footballer you’ve got to be looking over your shoulders.”
“It’s how it works. Unfortunately there is no room for sentiment.”
Marquee player Aloisi; who quit premiers Central Coast Mariners to sign a two-year deal reportedly worth $1.4million a year; said the main factor that made him yearn for the Sydney jersey was the exhibition match against Los Angeles Galaxy in November.
“There were 83;000 people at the game that night and I said to myself ‘I want to be part of something big like that’.”
“Sydney also had a massive crowd for their last match of the competition proper against Melbourne Victory.”
“As a footballer you want to play in front of big crowds and win things. I’m no different.”
“The Mariners are a great club and they treated me really well but I just knew that Sydney was the right move for me. As a professional sometimes you move on and that is what I have done.”
Fellow striker Bridge; who scored the winning goal for Newcastle Jets against the Mariners in the Grand Final; said he was thrilled to be back to his home city after three “enjoyable” years in Newcastle.
“Sydney is the place I grew up in and it’s a place I love. I’ve got my family here too;” he said.
Craning his neck to look at the Cove end of the stadium where he found the Mariners’ net with a magnificent shot off his cultured right foot; he said: “Winning the Grand Final was great; so was scoring for the first time at the Sydney Football Stadium.”
“Hopefully I’ll score a lot more and better goals for Sydney.”
Playmaker Colosimo; who has not given up hope of playing for Australia again; said the reason he came to Sydney from Perth Glory was simple: “I want to win something.”
“I just want that opportunity to play in that last game of the year. Sydney are the pressure club of the league and over here nothing but winning is good enough.”
Kosmina said he was likely to adopt a 4-4-2 formation “with variations” next season but it remains to be seen if Olyroos skipper Mark Milligan and Brazilian ace Juninho will be part of that – with the duo still in negotiations over new deals.
Contracted Sydney FC squad members for 2008/09: Clint Bolton; Iain Fyfe; Nikolas Tsattalios; Simon Colosimo; Tony Popovic; Robbie Middleby; Steve Corica; Brendon Santalab; Ben Vidaic; Alex Brosque; Terry McFlynn; John Aloisi; Jacob Timpano; Adam Casey; Mark Bridge; Ivan Necevski; Adam Biddle; Mike Enfield