Macarthur ready to shake up A-League

Anna Harrington
·2-min read

Less than two months out from Macarthur FC's inaugural A-League season, coach Ante Milicic is confident the newcomers can shake up the competition.

The Bulls will join Australia's top-flight in a season of change, with the start date pushed back to December 27 and the league entering the final year of its revised broadcast deal with Fox Sports.

Milicic said it was vital for A-League expansion clubs to bring something new.

"Hopefully as a new club we can be competitive because I think it's important that the league has these new teams that are adding something different - and more than just opportunities to more players," Milicic told AAP.

"We'd like to think that we can come into the league and add a little bit of quality for sure."

Milicic said he was "delighted" with his squad so far - one that draws heavily on players he knows from his time with the Socceroos and Olyroos.

Club captain Mark Milligan and goalkeeper Adam Federici lead the list of recruits with Macarthur also securing the likes of Aleksandar Susnjar, Aleksandar Jovanovic and Milislav Popovic - Australians who have carved out senior careers overseas.

Macarthur played their first friendly on October 25 against local club Camden - with eight of the Bulls starting XI never having featured in the A-League.

"The fans probably haven't seen these footballers - a majority of them have been overseas in Europe, and they haven't had the chance to see these players live," Milicic said.

"Hopefully that give some excitement to the league but also to the supporters that they're seeing a lot of good Australian players that have been overseas and haven't played in Sydney in front of their family and friends.

"It gives them an opportunity to show what they can do."

English striker Matt Derbyshire and French playmaker Loic Puyo - whose left foot Milicic likens to that of former Croatia star Aljosa Asanovic - have completed their respective quarantine periods and will add further class and experience.

"I'm really excited to see Loic live, because I've watched an incredible amount of footage of him and you're hoping he's going to come in and make a difference," Milicic said.

"That's what you expect of your foreign players - they have to come in and make a difference.

"However, you understand that he's never played outside France so it's a new experience for him in these challenging times.

"We're looking forward to Loic settling in and also showing what he's capable of on the field."