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Sydney FC's 2019-20 A-League home opener at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium against Melbourne Victory could be postponed

Delayed?: Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic. Picture: John Veage
Delayed?: Sydney FC star Milos Ninkovic. Picture: John Veage

Sydney FC have announced the postponement of their first home A-League game of the season at Kogarah.

As reported by the Leader on Monday, the Sky Blues have opted to delay their round six clash with Melbourne Victory at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium - set down for November 16 - by 24 hours.

The Big Blue will now be played on Sunday, November 17, with kick-off scheduled for 6.30pm.

Central Coast's home match with Adelaide was also pushed back to fill the vacated Saturday afternoon time slot.

The decision was made to allow Sydney FC and Victory to field full strength sides, with the fixture to now be played as a double header alongside the W-League Big Blue between the clubs.

The match is scheduled during a FIFA international window, with a number of players from both clubs likely to be chosen to represent their countries.

Sydney FC's first choice A-League goalkeepers Andrew Redmayne and Tom Heward-Belle, as well as National Youth League keeper Adam Pavlesic are likely to be overseas on representative duty, leaving the Sky Blues with no cover in goal.

Expected international call-ups for right back Rhyan Grant (Australia), striker Kosta Barbarouses (New Zealand) and Olyroos centre-back Patrick Flottmann will also reduce the Sky Blues' playing stocks, with young midfielder Ryan Teague also away captaining Australia at the under-17 World Cup in Brazil.

The Socceroos have agreed to allow any players called up for the World Cup qualifier against Jordan on the Thursday to fly back immediately after the game to allow them enough time to recover and be available to play in the fixture.

Sydney FC CEO Danny Townsend said player welfare and a need to protect the quality and entertainment value of the fixture were part of the decision.

"We understand there may be a bit of disruption for people however we also want to ensure the quality of the entertainment doesn't suffer, and when you take away players of international quality as well as all of our goalkeepers, that is going to happen," he said.

"By pushing this match back a day both sides should be at full strength and the players' welfare isn't jeopardised by giving them enough time to recover from the international games and travel."

ORIGINAL STORY

Sydney FC's first home A-League game of the season at Kogarah could potentially be postponed, with the Sky Blues and opponents Melbourne Victory likely to be without a number of star players due to an international break.

The round six A-League clash is scheduled for Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday, November 16. As well as being the first Big Blue between the clubs for the season, the match will also be Sydney FC's first home game at Kogarah for the campaign.

The match is scheduled during a FIFA international window, with the Sky Blues preparing to apply to have the match postponed in accordance with new regulations.

Sydney FC, who have strengthened their commitment to the St George district and Sutherland Shire even further in recent times, do not want supporters to be disappointed with potentially a number of withdrawals on both teams that could cause the entertainment value of the fixture to suffer on their return to Kogarah.

Sydney FC could have defender Rhyan Grant and goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne unavailable with Socceroos duty. Attacker Kosta Barbarouses could be involved with New Zealand while reserve goalkeeper Tom Heward-Belle could be in action with the Olyroos.

Goal: Rhyan Grant celebrates his winner against Wellington at Leichhardt on Sunday. Picture: Sydney FC

Goal: Rhyan Grant celebrates his winner against Wellington at Leichhardt on Sunday. Picture: Sydney FC

The Sky Blues also expect to have four young players, including No.3 goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic, representing the Joeys at the FIFA under-17 World Cup in Brazil.

It is possible the game will only be shifted back one day to Sunday, November 17 to allow any Socceroos representatives the chance to return from Jordan, who Australia take on in a World Cup qualifier in the early hours of the Friday morning (AEDT).

No official decision had been announced at time of going to print on Monday afternoon, although one was expected this week. The W-League Big Blue scheduled for November 17 remains unaffected.

The Sky Blues have made Jubilee their major temporary home this season, with Sydney FC to play 10 of their 13 home A-League games at the Kogarah venue as their traditional home ground, Moore Park's Allianz Stadium, undergoes redevelopment.

As well as plenty of success on the Kogarah pitch last season, Sydney FC enjoyed success off it in the St George district with the suburban ground proving a massive hit with football fans.

Meanwhile, Sydney FC maintained their 100 per cent record to start their campaign on Sunday, downing Wellington Phoenix 2-1 in their first home game of the season at Leichhardt Oval.

Brandon O'Neill opened the scoring after 16 minutes before the visitors equalised with 20 minutes to play. But a brilliant Rhyan Grant goal 13 minutes from time sealed the three points for the Sky Blues.

"It's a very good three points for us. We played well in patches when we had the ball, and so did they. I think it was a great game," Sydney FC coach Steve Corica said.

"First half we dominated with the ball and you need to take your chances. If we did that, we could have made the game a lot easier. Defensively you have to be strong and I was pretty pleased [with] the way we defended at times.

"We have a lot of pace upfront and a lot of creative players to finish games off so once we get that right and start scoring goals, it's going to be good."

Sydney FC travel to Parramatta to take on Western Sydney Wanderers in the first Sydney derby to be played at the new Bankwest Stadium in round three on Saturday night.

"[The Sydney derby is] going to be tight. It's full on, it's physical and we're looking forward to it," Corica said.

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