A Look Ahead to an Historic A-League Season
For those who don't know what the A-League is, it is the Australian National Football League. On the 6th of August the historic fifth season of the A-League will begin.
The reason I use historic is because it will be the first season with ten teams. This slideshow will give readers a look at the new teams in the league and show some of the great new signings teams have made.
Adelaide United have been a very consistent side throughout the history of the A-League.
Although not winning the A-League ever they have made history as being the first Australian team to make the final of the Asian Champions League which is a massive achievement for an A-League side.
Last season they finished as runners up to arch nemesis Melbourne Victory.
Manager Aurelio Vidmar has done pretty well in the transfer department and has purchased two foreigners in the shapes of Inseob Shin from the Korean Republic and also Lloyd Owusu from English league two side Cheltenham Town who was also a Ghanaian International.
Aurelio Vidmar has also signed local boys Joe Costa and Francesco Monterosso following their performances in the Youth League last season.
As well as buying players Vidmar has also lost players none bigger than defender Sasa Ognenovski to the bigger money in the Korean League.
I predict that despite the impressive signings the manager has implemented that Adelaide United will not show enough consistency throughout the season to make the finals. So in saying that I predict a 6th place finish.
During the first couple of seasons of the A-League Queensland Roar, now called Brisbane Roar, were the under achieving side.
Then along came Frank Farina who changed the team and has brought in some great players along the way.
During the pre-season Brisbane Roar faced Scottish heavyweights Celtic in the Translink Cup. Although beaten 3-0 a lot of young players impressed in that match.
Brisbane Roar are known for their youth players as it has established players who are currently playing in Europe like Dario Vidosic (currently at Nurnburg).
Also their current crop of youngsters include Robbie Kruse, Mitch Nichols, Michael Zullo.
Since the begining of last season Frank Farina has brought in great players such as Craig Moore, Charlie Miller and Henrique and in saying that I think that those players will carry The Roar to a third place finish.
Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast are to me and overrated team. The team has some great players but they don't play very entertaining football.
Central Coast have never won the A-League but they have been Premiers once and also have been runner up twice in the first and third seasons of the A-League.
This season they have added former Celtic youngster Michael McGlinchey as well as former player Adam Kwasnik returning.
Their pre-season has been pretty good but goals seem to be the main problem.
I predict that Central Coast Mariners will not make the finals and finish in 8th position.
Gold Coast United
Gold Coast United are one of the two new teams in the Hyundai A-League. The club's manager is former Brisbane Roar manager Miron Bleiberg.
First of all their squad is one of great talent and skill and includes names like Jason Culina, Joel Porter, Jess Vanstrattan, and Shane Smeltz who have all played in Europe.
Secondly their pre-season is full of promising performances, probably none better than the score line of 2-1 against Fulham in Gold Coast's favor.
And lastly they boast a title-winning team with the great players they have. I predict that they have got what it takes to become Minor Premiers but lose in the final.
Melbourne Victory are this years bookies' favourites to win the title. They have won the title twice and in both those times have beaten arch nemesis Adelaide United.
This year it will be different with two new teams in the league but with Melbourne's dynamic strike force it could prove to be a walk in the park for them.
They have bolstered their squad by adding Football Superstar winner Luke Pilkington as well as Thailand and Costa Rica internationals Surat Sukha and former loanee Carlos Hernandez. They have also purchased goalkeeper Glen Moss who replaces Michael Theoklitos who has gone to Norwich City.
Melbourne aren't my favourite side but with the strike force they boast in Archie Thompson, Daniel Alsopp and Ney Fabiano they have what it takes to win the title which I predict they will do after they finish second in the table.
Last season did not go to plan for the Newcastle Jets as they showed no resistance in regaining the title they won by not making the finals.
But after the A-League season Newcaslte did Australia proud by making the second round of the Asian Champions League.
The off-season has seen a topsy-turvy roller coaster but at least their transfer choices have been good where they have purchased Italian playmaker Fabio Vignaroli and Dutch stiker Donny de Groot.
With Joel Griffiths on loan at Beijing Guoan until December of this year Newcastle are in for a touth time and I predict that they will finish 9th.
North Queensland Fury
North Queensland Fury are the second new team in the Hyundai A-League and if your wondering where Robbie Fowler went he is at this club.
North Queensland have bought pretty well in the transfer department to get the squad that they do have. Robbie Fowler is expected to do well and score plenty of goals.
Their pre-season has not been a great one but they have won against A-League rival Adelaide as well as scoring against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Although they have a pretty good squad and I think that they will have some great matches but I think they will finish as wooden spooners.
With probably the best purchases of the season Perth Glory are expected to have their best ever season.
The purchases of Chris Coyne, Mile Sterjovski, Jacob Burns, Andy Todd, and Branko Jelic place Perth as unlikely second favorites.
Perth like North Queenland have had a disappointing pre-season but Perth have managed to beat North Queensland Fury and marginally lose out against the Wolves.
Despite everyone's prediction that Perth will do very well I doubt as I haven't seen enough good results. In saying that I predict a tight finish for the finals in which Perth just missing out and finishing 5th.
Sydney are in for a big season with their new manager Vitezslav Lavicka. Lavicka seems to be a smart man and has done pretty well in all departments.
First of all the transfers that Sydney have brought in have been of a high quality. They have bought Karol Kisel from Sparta Prague, Seb Ryall from Melbourne Victory, Bjun Sung-Hwan from Jeju United, and Stephan Keller from De Graafschaap.
Their pre-season has seen them undefeated even against other A-League teams which goes to say that Sydney will do very well in the A-League. I predict they will finish 4th in the table but beat Brisbane Roar and finish 3rd.
Wellington are the under-estimated team in my mind of the A-League. They have purchased smartly and look to make the finals for the first time in their history.
Wellington have purchased striker Chris Greenacre from Tranmere Rovers, Reece Crowther from QPR, Diego from Adelaide United, Paul Ifil from Crystal Palace, and Marco Rojas from Hamilton Wanderers.
Their pre-season has been full of goals and only haven't scored in one of their pre-season games.
I predict that they will finish 7th place with their striker Chris Greenacre finishing with the Golden Boot.