Sydney finalise ALM signings, add Brazilian defender

Steve Corica hopes his final off-season signing can fill the void left by the retirement of club great Alex Wilkinson after Sydney FC completed a loan deal for Brazilian defender Gabriel Lacerda.

The 24-year-old joins countryman Fabio Gomes in committing his short-term future to the club, with the potential for both signings to be made permanent. 

Sydney have been keen to find a partner for Jack Rodwell at the heart of their defence after Wilkinson called time on his professional career at the end of the last A-League Men season. 

“I have a lot of expectations here including to make this a permanent move for myself as I believe we can make history,” Lacerda, who signed from northeastern club Ceara, said. 

“My motivation is to reach big milestones and win big titles.”

The club’s new sporting director Alex Baumjohann has aimed to recruit younger players over the off-season rather than go for tried-and-tested veterans. 

As well as Lacerda and Gomes, 26, Sydney have also added Olyroos defender Jordan Courtney-Perkins (20) and promoted a host of players from their academy. 

“(Defence) was the one area where I wanted to shore up,” Corica said.

“We don’t want to concede easy goals but with Gabriel, Jordan, Jack and Aaron Gurd, there’s good competition for places.

“Alex has done a fantastic job, he’s been very meticulous in getting the right players in and things have panned out very nicely.

“The squad is a lot younger this year with boys from our academy, it’s a good blend of really young players, that ‘middle-aged’ bracket and experienced players we’ve had for a number of years now.” 

Corica said Gomes and Lacerda could be unleashed in Sunday’s Australia Cup semi-final meeting with Melbourne City, with the winners to face either Brisbane Roar or Melbourne Knights in the final. 

“They’ll have a full week of training,” Corica said on Tuesday. 

“They only didn’t train when they had a week off to get their stuff together and get out here (to Australia). 

“Training has been good from both of them and they’ve given themselves a chance to be involved at some stage.”


Nathan Amanatidis, Joel King, Jordan Courtney-Perkins (permanent moves); Fabio Gomes, Gabriel Lacerda (loans); Alen Harbas, Matthew Scarcella, Gus Hoefsloot, Mitchell Glasson, Zachary de Jesus (from academy).