Musialik signs with Sydney FC
Olyroos midfielder Stuart Musialik became the latest "fish" caught in Sydney FC's off-season recruiting net but he could wriggle off the hook should a European club come calling.
Musialik, 22, became the fourth player to sign with Sydney following fellow Newcastle A-League championship winner Mark Bridge, Perth's Simon Colosimo and Central Coast's John Aloisi.
Sydney coach John Kosmina said Sydney was still in the market for more players, particularly a left-sided specialist, and was happy to have finally landed Musialik.
"He's been a hard fish to catch, but we finally got him and I think he will do a great job for us," Kosmina said.
Musialik has signed a two-year deal with Sydney but the contract contains a clause which allows him to leave after a year if he accepted an offer to go overseas.
"That was one of the good reasons for me to sign here as well, have a good year here and there are clauses that allow me to go to Europe if the chance arises after the first year," Musialik said.
"So it was definitely a very important factor for me in signing here."
Musialik said he had ambitions to play in Europe and that was one of the reasons he came to Sydney.
He said he was perhaps in a comfort zone in Newcastle and was looking forward to a better year after a disappointing season.
Musialik thought Sydney could emulate Newcastle's championship success, especially given their strong recruiting drive.
"The players that they signed are top shelf, the squad is going to be second to none to anyone else in the league," Musialik said. "Especially with me playing with Bridgey the last few years, that was a massive factor in me coming down here.
"I've loved playing football with him and I just think it's going to be an incredible squad that we've got down here and capable of achieving things."
Kosmina was philosophical about the possibility of losing promising young players like Musialik and Bridge.
"They are both under contract, so if we lose them at the end of the year there's money involved," Kosmina said.
"At the end of the day football is a business."
And with seven players released following the season, Kosmina emphasised Sydney still had more places on their roster, though he admitted their salary cap was "starting to get a little bit tight".
"But with the number of players leaving the club we have got some room to move and we are probably looking at a couple more.
"I think we've got a very good core and we need to look at other players that can fill in the gaps. We've got some great speed out wide, but we do need a little more balance on the left-hand side."
Kosmina said Musialik would add a bit of flair.
"Stuey has got an uncanny ability to see things early that a lot of players don't have," Kosmina said.
"Especially with someone like John Aloisi and obviously he's got a great understanding with Mark Bridge, he will add that little bit of cohesion between the back and the front that some people may have questioned we didn't have in the last week or so."
Kosmina said Musialik had proven himself as a holding midfielder and probably had more to offer higher up the field.