Lashings of wind and rain provided a theatrically and inappropriately ominous backdrop for an announcement that will bring joy to Sydney FC fans.
Back from the obscurity of an ambiguous but crippling knee injury. Back from an insurance fiasco that had threatened to end his A-League career in a legal quagmire. Back, in the Sky blue of the club that loyally invested hours into his rehabilitation.
Brett Emerton knows how important this signing is. Alessandro Del Piero knows how important it is for an A-league team to have a player who can read the patterns of the game and judge his runs accordingly.
Culina, who traded Dutch Eredivisie giant PSV Eindhoven for Gold Coast United while at the peak of his playing powers, is adept at this. He is exactly the type of player Sydney needs to connect the lines of defence and attack in a similar, if not better way that Erik Paartalu does for Brisbane Roar and Aaron Mooy does for Western Sydney Wanderers.
Culina is just the type of player Sydney’s fledgling midfield needs.
In Round 1 against Wellington, Del Piero retreated further and further back from his attacking position to seek out possession of the football. Sydney’s midfield appeared unable to provide him with the service his role required.
Culina’s arrival will bring the best out of them. Captain Terry McFlynn will be able to play a more defensive role and better use his ability to win back the ball. The young brigade of Terry Antonis, Joel Chianese and Mitch Malia will also be able to express themselves more creatively.
Let’s not forget Jason’s Socceroos team-mate Brett Emerton, who already has an intimate understanding of the way Culina plays.
Jason Culina is a fantastic addition to Sydney’s squad, but more than that, it’s great to see that he has been able to resurrect his football career in the A-League. He was the first high profile Socceroos player to trade Europe for Australia at the height of his career and to think that an injury may have ended it all was tough to bear.
Jason, welcome back, I can’t wait to see you in action for Sydney FC on the pitch.
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