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Window pain: Farina's riled by long wait for Griffiths

Date

Sebastian Hassett

Sidelined … star striker Joel Griffiths, left of centre, trains with Sydney FC teammates on Tuesday morning.

Sidelined … star striker Joel Griffiths, left of centre, trains with Sydney FC teammates on Tuesday morning. Photo: Wolter Peeters

SYDNEY FC coach Frank Farina has added his voice to the growing concern over the timing of the A-League transfer window, declaring it to be ''almost a restraint of trade''.

The Sky Blues are playing a waiting game as star striker Joel Griffiths cools his heels on the sidelines, unable to make his debut until January 19 - more than a month after his deal to join Sydney was made public, and almost three weeks since his deal with Shanghai Shenhua expired.

Sydney could urgently use a striker of his calibre for Sunday's match against Melbourne Heart at Allianz Stadium, a fixture that ended in a 0-0 draw when the teams last played.

Farina said he was perplexed as to why the FFA altered the transfer window to mid-January, rather than at the start of the month as happens in most European countries.

''I don't agree with the window here at the moment,'' Farina said after training on Tuesday at Macquarie University. ''Joel Griffiths, for example, is off contract on December 31, so it's not as if he is still contracted to a club - but he can't start playing until the 14th which, for me, is crazy. It's almost a restraint of trade that he can't play for those two weeks. It's a problem with the timing of the window. Sometimes it'll work for you and sometimes it won't.''

A FFA spokesman told Fairfax Media the timing was designed to ''accommodate the overlap between the European transfer windows and to allow for room to do business after their closure at the end of January''.

However, Farina wasn't so sure it was as beneficial as the governing body hoped. ''I think we can most probably tweak it and get it a bit better, but that's the way it is,'' he said. "I think they put the dates down in good faith thinking it was going to be the best thing for the league, but for us, in our situation, it's not. For others, it may be good. You're not always going to please everyone. At this stage, we're not pleased.''

In better news for Sydney, Panamanian striker Yairo Yau and Brazilian defender Fabio both completed full sessions at training, putting them squarely in contention for selection for Sunday.

"They worked reasonably hard there with [fitness coach] Anthony [Crea] so hopefully Fabio and Yau will be available this weekend," Farina said. "It's only Tuesday and the game's Sunday, so there's no point talking about who's going to start or who's going to be on the bench."

While Sydney are at the bottom of the table, there's a sliver of hope given the logjam of teams above them - they could even be within a point of the top six by full-time this weekend.

Farina said his side was not far away from where he wanted it to be after a tricky start to his interim tenure. "We've just got to get that consistency,'' he said. ''We've said that word so often over the past six weeks. If we can maintain that consistency, we'll do well. It's one of those competitions where, on any given day, anyone can beat anyone. I think it will go down to the wire, those last two or three games, so it's a vitally important period coming up for us to pick up points. If you manage to get into the six, you've got a shot at the title."

Having often fallen behind at the wrong time this season, Farina said he was heartened by the way his side twice fought back to equalise and draw with Perth Glory last weekend.

Newcastle also face a nervous wait over the fitness of Ruben Zadkovich after he injured his knee at training. He will likely find out on Wednesday if there is any serious damage.

Meanwhile, Central Coast Mariners star Tom Rogic has committed to the club for the remainder of the A-League season and will only consider moving abroad once his contract with the club expires.

Rogic turned down a move to English Premier League side Reading over the weekend and has instead decided to stay with the Mariners, who currently sit in first place in the A-League, for at least six months.

''There was a bit of interest from a few clubs, in particular Reading, and as a player it's very flattering to be linked to a team that's in the English Premier League, but it wasn't to be and at the moment it's not happening and we'll re-asses it at the end of the season,'' he said on Triple M.

Rogic said he was a ''little bit'' frustrated at not playing in Europe but was confident his time would come.

''There's a lot of unknowns … would it have been better for me, or what would have happened, I don't know. I'll just move on and keep training and doing what I keep doing on the pitch. Off the pitch will take care of itself.''

■ Defending champions Brisbane have signed experienced Japanese-based Socceroo Jade North.

Roar officials confirmed they had secured North's signature on a three-and-a-half year deal on Tuesday night.

North, who has been playing for Consadole Sapporo in Japan, has been signed as a defender as the two-time champions undergo a shake up under new coach Mike Mulvey.

''Jade has an excellent footballing pedigree and will bring a great deal of experience and knowledge to our squad,'' Mulvey said.

''He is a proven winner and has a great appetite for future success.''

with AAP

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Round 1
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Sat, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
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SYD 1vs MCY 1 Stats
Sun, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
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Round 2
Fri, 17 OctTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1vs VIC 1 Stats
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Round 3
Fri, 24 OctTimes shown AEDT
BRI 0vs SYD 2 Stats
Sat, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
VIC 5vs MCY 2 Stats
Sun, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WEL 4vs NEW 1 Stats
ADE 2vs PER 0 Stats
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WSW 0vs CCM 0 Stats
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Round 4
Fri, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
PER 2vs NEW 1 Stats
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
SYD 2vs CCM 0 Stats
Mon, 03 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2vs WEL 0 Stats
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WSW 0vs BRI 1 Stats
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Round 5
Fri, 07 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1vs WSW 0 Stats
ADE 0vs SYD 0 Stats
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NEW 2vs VIC 2 Stats
BRI 1vs MCY 3 Stats
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CCM 0vs PER 1 Stats
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Round 6
Fri, 14 NovTimes shown AEDT
NEW 0vs BRI 4 Stats
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ADE 2vs WEL 1 Stats
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MCY 2vs CCM 2 Stats
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Round 7
Fri, 21 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 1vs BRI 0 Stats
PER 2vs WEL 1 Stats
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Round 8
Fri, 28 NovTimes shown AEDT
VIC 3vs ADE 2 Stats
Sat, 29 NovTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1vs PER 1 Stats
WSW 1vs SYD 1 Stats
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
WEL 5vs MCY 1 Stats
NEW 1vs CCM 1 Stats
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Round 9
Thu, 04 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 1vs PER 2 Stats
Fri, 05 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 0vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 06 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1vs WEL 3 Stats
ADE 2vs WSW 0 Stats
Sun, 07 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs BRI 0 Stats
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Round 10
Fri, 12 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE 0vs BRI 1 Stats
PER 2vs NEW 0 Stats
Sat, 13 DecTimes shown AEDT
WEL 1vs CCM 1 Stats
VIC 3vs SYD 3 Stats
Wed, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 3vs MCY 2 Stats
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Round 11
Fri, 19 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 20 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs VIC 0 Stats
PER 4vs CCM 1 Stats
Sun, 21 DecTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs WEL 2 Stats
Wed, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 1vs WSW 4 Stats
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Round 12
Fri, 26 DecTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs PER 1 Stats
SYD 0vs ADE 3 Stats
Sat, 27 DecTimes shown AEDT
CCM 3vs BRI 3 Stats
VIC 1vs NEW 0 Stats
Sun, 28 DecTimes shown AEDT
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Round 13
Tue, 30 DecTimes shown AEDT
NEW 2vs MCY 5 Stats
BRI 0vs SYD 0 Stats
Wed, 31 DecTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1vs WEL 3 Stats
Thu, 01 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW 0vs CCM 0 Stats
Fri, 02 JanTimes shown AEDT
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Round 14
Sat, 03 JanTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs NEW 0 Stats
Sun, 04 JanTimes shown AEDT
WEL 3vs BRI 0 Stats
CCM 2vs MCY 0 Stats
Mon, 05 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 1vs ADE 2 Stats
Tue, 06 JanTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1vs VIC 2 Stats
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Round 15
Sat, 24 JanTimes shown AEDT
ADE 7vs NEW 0 Stats
CCM 1vs SYD 5 Stats
Sun, 25 JanTimes shown AEDT
PER 3vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 01 FebTimes shown AEDT
MCY 2vs WSW 1 Stats
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Round 16
Fri, 06 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW 1vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 07 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM 2vs ADE 1 Stats
VIC 3vs MCY 0 Stats
PER 1vs SYD 3 Stats
Sun, 08 FebTimes shown AEDT
WSW 2vs WEL 0 Stats
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Round 17
Fri, 13 FebTimes shown AEDT
CCM 0vs BRI 2 Stats
Sat, 14 FebTimes shown AEDT
WEL 0vs MCY 0 Stats
NEW 1vs WSW 1 Stats
SYD 3vs VIC 3 Stats
Sun, 15 FebTimes shown AEDT
ADE 1vs PER 1 Stats
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Round 18
Sat, 21 FebTimes shown AEDT
SYD 4vs CCM 2 Stats
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MCY 0vs PER 0 Stats
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Round 19
Fri, 27 FebTimes shown AEDT
MCY 3vs ADE 1 Stats
Sat, 28 FebTimes shown AEDT
NEW 0vs CCM 0 Stats
WSW 3vs SYD 4 Stats
PER 2vs BRI 2 Stats
Sun, 01 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2vs WEL 3 Stats
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Round 20
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 0vs SYD 1 Stats
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WEL 2vs ADE 0 Stats
VIC 1vs PER 1 Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1vs MCY 0 Stats
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Round 21
Thu, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
ADE 2vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 0vs VIC 3 Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY 4vs NEW 0 Stats
PER 1vs WEL 2 Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 5vs BRI 4 Stats
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Round 22
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs MCY 1 Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1vs NEW 2 Stats
ADE 2vs VIC 2 Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
CCM 1vs PER 1 Stats
BRI 1vs WEL 2 Stats
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Round 23
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
VIC 2vs CCM 1 Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
MCY 1vs BRI 0 Stats
PER 3vs WSW 2 Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WEL 0vs SYD 3 Stats
NEW 0vs ADE 1 Stats
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Round 24
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6vs CCM 1 Stats
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
WSW 1vs MCY 1 Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
SYD 0vs ADE 1 Stats
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NEW 0vs PER 2 Stats
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Round 25
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
VIC 0vs NEW 1 Stats
PER 0vs SYD 3 Stats
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CCM 1vs WSW 0 Stats
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MCY 0vs WEL 0 Stats
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Round 26
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
WEL 3vs CCM 2 Stats
NEW 3vs SYD 4 Stats
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Round 27
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
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Round 28
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 2vs BRI 1 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
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Round 29
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Round 30
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Sydney FC 27 14 5 17 50
Adelaide United 27 14 9 15 46
Wellington Phoenix 27 14 9 10 46
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Brisbane Roar 27 10 13 -1 34
Perth Glory 27 14 5 10 50
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