Major signings give A-League shot in the arm

JayJ95 Roar Rookie

By JayJ95, JayJ95 is a Roar Rookie

 , , , ,

17 Have your say

    Former Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero speaks at his first press conference in Sydney on September 17, 2012 as he begins a two-year stint with Sydney FC in Australia's A-League. The signing of Del Piero, who spent 19 years at Juventus, has been hailed as a significant moment for the A-League, which is entering its eighth season but has struggled over the years with patchy crowds and financial troubles. AFP PHOTO / Greg WOOD

    Related coverage

    The A-League commences on October fifth and it seems the round two match between Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets will be hotly anticipated like last year’s Melbourne Victory versus Sydney FC game.

    It has already been hotly anticipated because if all goes to plan, Sydney FC’s marquee man, Italian football legend Alessandro del Piero, will make his debut at the Allianz Stadium, his home ground for the next two years.

    But another massive signing coup is about to be unveiled, with Newcastle Jets signing ex-Liverpool player Emile Heskey on a one year deal, subject to a medical.

    This sets up a tantalising battle.

    Both Heskey and del Piero have played for their nations many times (del Piero 91 times for Italy, Heskey 62 times for England) and have proven their worth against the world’s best in European competition, with del Piero having a UEFA Champions League title to his name and Heskey winning a UEFA Cup with Liverpool.

    Just like Harry Kewell and Brett Emerton last year, when two class players returned home to play in the A-League, both del Piero and Heskey have provided the A-League a big shot in the arm.

    Possibly, del Piero alone has given football in this country its biggest shot in the arm since Dwight Yorke launched the A-League’s first season.

    With former Johnny Warren Medalist Marcos Flores back in Australia playing for Melbourne Victory, the biggest club (supporter wise) in the A-League, an Italian footballing legend playing for Sydney FC and Emile Heskey playing outside of England for the first time in his long career, the A-League is set to become one of the hottest tickets in town.

    Brace yourselves.

    Do you find yourself logged out of The Roar?
    We have just switched over to a secure site (https). This means you will need to log-in afresh. If you need help with recovering your password, please get in contact.

    This video is trending right now! Submit your videos for the chance to win a share of $10,000!

    Oldest | Newest | Most Recent

    The Crowd Says (17)

    • September 20th 2012 @ 8:39am
      Bondy. said | September 20th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

      I think it reflects the market downturn in Europe as well and alot of pro footballers dont see China or Japan as an option both Heskey and ADP want to play football in a stable country thats know throughout the world as being a relatively safe country.

      These big name signings hopefully will illustrate to parents and kids that this is the sport, the daddy of all Mc daddys.

      • September 20th 2012 @ 9:37am
        nordster said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        Totally, given a choice of all options australia looks attractive. Especially for those not wanting to be seen to be cashing in too much. At least with here for the legend type players, they can say ‘well its australia’ ….whereas some other leagues, fans seem more cynical about. (not that i share such thoughts, but oz has to use what it has!)

        And downturn wise, we really have only seen the early pops….the real crash, the govt bubble has not hit yet. So we may yet pick up a few more flights to safety.

      • September 20th 2012 @ 1:26pm
        mahony said | September 20th 2012 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

        Exchange rate is good right now also…

    • September 20th 2012 @ 9:42am
      AL said | September 20th 2012 @ 9:42am | ! Report

      Good point Bondy, hopefully economic conditions in Europe (dont mean it like it sounds) and Del Piero will open the door for other top line players to come to the A-League. Pitty our own overseas players e.g. Cahill dont see our league as the best option after europe. Like coming to Australia is beneth them, very Euro Snob mentality.
      One other point when we have the likes of Del playing for Sydney FC we get fans with Juventis shirts, flags etc showning up. Just remember he plays for SFC. Even these Australian fans much like some of our Socceroos find it beneth their football aristocracy to support a home grown team. Are they better than the rest of us?? Or do they have more football knowledge because they wear a Juventis shirt.?
      Del Piero has left Juv behind why dont they.

    • September 20th 2012 @ 10:58am
      Midfielder said | September 20th 2012 @ 10:58am | ! Report


      Ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack in A-League talks with Western Sydney Wanderers

      with ADP coming to Australia it has meant other top names are willing to consider …

    • September 20th 2012 @ 11:02am
      Midfielder said | September 20th 2012 @ 11:02am | ! Report

      Just think…

      SFC have ALP
      Jets … AM
      WSW … MB

      Mariners also have a top signing not in the same class as the above in Nick Montgomery a DM who played for SU for over 12 years…

      AU have some decent signings…

      As the old Slade song go’s ‘Bring it on, bang a gong”’

      • September 21st 2012 @ 9:44am
        TC said | September 21st 2012 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        That wasn’t Slade – that was Marc Bolan and T-Rex.


      • September 21st 2012 @ 10:05am
        Minister for Information for the Democratic People's Republic of Football said | September 21st 2012 @ 10:05am | ! Report

        What’s the Australian Labour Party got to do with SFC? And who’s AM? What’s going on Middy?

    • September 20th 2012 @ 12:21pm
      Futbanous said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

      Heres an article about the “Beckham(designated player) rule in the MLS:-

      Noticed this paragraph which we can relate to in the A-League:-

      “An increase of $50,000 in the average MLS salary would require the cap to be increased by about a million dollars a year per team. Everyone thinks it would be great to increase the average salary for non-DPs but would it improve the product? Would it sell more tickets?Would it increase viewing numbers? The answer for all three is almost certainly no.

      Take that $1M, make it discretionary and allow a team to invest in another DP or two and the answer for the three questions above is almost certainly yes.”

    • September 20th 2012 @ 12:27pm
      Futbanous said | September 20th 2012 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

      Also from this article on the impact of DP’s in the MLS ie this is purely about impact on the field:-

      “DPs don’t always pan out and the average production by DPs this season is not so impressive. However, if your team picks the right DP, the benefits are certainly there.”

      So picking the right one according to their (real) experience is the key to onfield success.

      • September 20th 2012 @ 5:04pm
        Matt F said | September 20th 2012 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        That sums up the whole marquee player system really well. They’re most certainly high risk but the right player can have enormous benefits.

    Have Your Say

    If not logged in, please enter your name and email before submitting your comment. Please review our comments policy before posting on the Roar.

    , , , ,