‘18 doesn’t go into 11’: Sky Blues’ attacking riches hand Juric selection dilemma

Sydney FC coach Ante Juric says he will think long and hard about how best to set his team up to achieve maximum points as Sydney FC attempt to chase down the Westfield W-League leaders in the coming rounds.

The Sky Blues have an embarrassment of riches – particularly in attack – and that was in full display when Juric called on Princess Ibini to come off his bench and change the game in his side’s 2-0 win over Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon.

The 19-year-old came off the pine with 25 minutes to play and set up the first goal of the game, playing Remy Siemsen into the box whose cross diverted off Amber Brooks and into the net.

Then, Ibini popped up to seal the win with a 90th minute strike from well outside the box, showing Juric she cannot be ignored as a starter in the coming rounds.

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With new recruit Veronica Latsko returning to full fitness, Juric has a serious selection conundrum on his hands with Ibini and Latsko challenging current Golden Boot leader Remy Siemsen and Westfield Matildas star striker Caitlin Foord for the three attacking slots in Sydney’s line up.

It’s a selection dilemma which is causing Juric quite the headache.

“Adelaide are a solid outfit and don’t deserve to be where they are but in the end we showed our class,” Juric told sydneyfc.com

“I thought we gave it everything today.

“I was very confident with our attacking flair [on the bench] and knew if it was tight, we would come over the top of them with the quality.

“We probably have a number of players, even the young ones, who deserve to start but 18 doesn’t go into 11 unfortunately.

“We’ll have a look but we need the strongest team to keep picking up points and next week against Canberra will be a tough game.”

Princess Ibini

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One player Juric will be hoping to see hit her straps in the coming weeks is Latsko, the American striker who scored nine goals for Adelaide last season before succumbing to a serious knee injury in the United States and joining the Sky Blues as she continued her rehabilitation.

Her attacking qualities have the potential to turn Sydney’s already potent attack into an unstoppable machine, but she is yet to get off the mark this season after making just her first start of the campaign against her former side.

Latsko says playing against her former side was strange, but it was an experience she relished as she continues to find comfort in her new life in Sky Blue.

“It was pretty nostalgic,” Latsko said.

“I love the [Adelaide] girls but when you’re playing, it doesn’t matter if they’re your best friend or your enemy; you play as hard as you can.

“My teammates and coaches have made me feel so at home here in Sydney.

“[Adelaide] are a good side but so are we and we showed it.

“We have so many incredible players, I could name-drop virtually the whole team.”


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