May 27, 2015 12:38:32 UK
Sydney FC have re-signed striker Shane Smeltz and defender Jacques Faty, as coach Graham Arnold pushes on with his plans for 2015-16.
Smeltz had attracted major interest from Malaysia, and asked the Sky Blues to release him in April.
But after Sydney withdrew a $1.4 million contract offer to marquee striker Marc Janko it gave the New Zealand international more chance of playing regularly next season.
He has signed a two-year deal, while Senegalese defender Faty has inked a one-season contract.
Two years more at this club is a pretty enticing prospect.
Smeltz is the second-highest scorer in A-League history, his total of 85 being just four behind Melbourne Victory’s Archie Thompson.
He said: “Time gives you the opportunity to think things through and see a bit more clearly, and I’m very comfortable that I’ve made the right decision.
“Two years more at this club is a pretty enticing prospect, especially after the season we’ve just had.”
Sydney FC are 5.00 to win the 2015-16 Grand Final.
Smeltz scored eight goals last season for the Sky Blues, despite making only nine starts because of the form of Janko, who finished as the league’s top scorer.
He has done the rounds of A-League clubs during his career, having previously played for Adelaide United, Wellington Phoenix, Gold Coast United and Perth Glory.
Arnold said he felt the striker was back to his best after coming through an injury-affected period.
Faty has signed up for next season just a week after his cousin Mickael Tavares put pen to paper on a two-year deal.
“I believe I have unfinished business here after the Grand Final and I want to use that as motivation for next season when we compete in the Asian Champions League and hopefully set more A-League records,” said Faty.
Meanwhile, Australia are 51.00 to win the Women’s World Cup.
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