Sydney FC have upgraded their attacking stocks. (Photo by KEEPUP)

After losing Madison Haley, the player of the match in the 2022-23 Liberty A-League Women’s Grand Final, to the Women’s Super League, the Sky Blues have brought in two new attackers to try and combat the loss of the American superstar.

The Sky Blues will have a completely different-looking team this season after six of their key players from last season have been offered contracts from clubs overseas or have signed new deals with rival A-League clubs.

Whilst they may have lost off the attacking options of Haley and Rola Badawiya, they have managed to bring in two suitable replacements.

After a short stint with the San Diego Wave in the NWSL – due to the absence of United States international Alex Morgan – Brisbane Roar’s Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner Shea Connors has decided to sign with the Sky Blues.

Likely to join Matildas attacker Cortnee Vine in the starting line-up, Connor has managed to score 78 goals in three seasons during the Queensland NPLW, but will be eager to score more than the six goals in 18 appearances she scored with the Roar last season.

“It’s a great season to be joining Sydney FC with the record numbers of Members and I’m keen to play in Sydney at a time when there’s so much hype for women’s football after the World Cup,” Connors said on her arrival to the Sky Blues.

“I can see that we’ve a really strong squad already and I’m keen to help the girls defend the titles.”

While Zara Kruger is predominantly a midfielder, it is hugely likely that the Young Matilda will replace another Young Matilda in Sarah Hunter in an attacking midfielder role. A regular member of the Young Matildas team, she played 10 games for the Brisbane Roar last season, which included her debut A-League game.

It is a big change for Kruger to join Sydney FC from the Brisbane Roar. Not only is she young, but she has signed a full-time contract rather than a scholarship contract that she was on at the Roar, meaning she will be called up more often for longer minutes.

“Sydney FC has a proven track record of helping young players improve and move forward with their development,” Kruger stated in a media statement.

“I’m excited to be joining this Championship winning squad and working with an excellent group of players and coaching staff.”

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Sydney FC head coach Ante Juric spoke on the arrival of the two players, admitting that they are crucial signings as the Sky Blues aim to win back-to-back titles this season.

“Shea and Zara will add flair and excitement to our attack this season and it’s something for our Members to look forward to,” he said.

“Shea is a natural goal-scorer with pace and a real eye for goal. She is a great fit for our front line.

“Zara is a young and energetic attacking midfielder who will flourish in our environment.”

Sydney FC 2023-24 Squad

Jada Whyman, Charlotte McLean, Kirsty Fenton, Teigan Collister, Natalie Tobin, Abbey Lemon, Jynana Dos Santos, Taylor Ray, Princess Ibini, Shay Hollman, Indiana Dos Santos, Tahlia Franco, Cortnee Vine, Abbey Lemon, Shea Connors, Zara Kruger

Arrivals: Lucy Johnson (Newcastle Jets), Margaux Chauvet, Aideen Keane (Perth Glory), Tori Tumeth (Melbourne City), Sienna Saveska (Western Sydney Wanderers), Shea Connors (Brisbane Roar), Zara Kruger (Brisbane Roar)

Departures: Charlie Rule (Brighton & Hove Albion), Mackenzie Hawkesby (Brighton & Hove Albion), Sarah Hunter (Paris FC), Deborah-Anne De La Harpe (HB Koge), Rola Badawiya (Central Coast Mariners), Mary Stanic- Floody, Madison Haley (EOL), Katie Offer, Shay Evans, Anna Green (Retired), Rachel Lowe (Melbourne Victory)

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