Wilkinson relishing Buijs partnership

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Sydney FC's defence has been critical to their impressive A-League season with the Sky Blues' recent Dutch arrival playing an important role

Sydney FC's Alex Wilkinson has applauded the way central defensive partner Jordy Buijs has "seamlessly" fitted into the A-League leaders' line-up.

Buijs signed with Sydney in January as a replacement for centre-back Matt Jurman, who left the club for Suwon Bluewings in the K League, and the Dutchman has quickly become a permanent fixture alongside Wilkinson in the A-League's best defence.

Having made his debut in a 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory on Australia Day, Buijs hasn't missed a minute since breaking into Sydney's starting XI as the Sky Blues have continued their march towards the Premier's Plate.

Wilkinson has been impressed by the experienced Dutchman.

COMMENT: Sydney FC an A-League inspiration

"I think the more you play together the more natural things become as a centre-back," the Socceroos defender said on Tuesday.

"It obviously takes a bit of time to get to know each other's strengths and whatnot but he's [Buijs] fitted in seamlessly, and to be fair, so have other players all season.

"We've had a bit of chopping and changing the backline throughout the year and each player that's come in has just fitted in and you would think they'd played a season or whatever together. That's great to see.

"That's credit to Arnie [coach Graham Arnold] and the coaching staff for doing a lot of video and tactical work with the guys who are coming in."

Buijs ready for the A-League

Wilkinson reckons Buijs' arrival and almost immediate success with Sydney exemplifies the impressive off-field work by coach Graham Arnold this season.

"Personnel-wise, I think this is one of the best teams I've played in," the 32-year-old defender said.

"The depth we've got in the squad is very, very good. Arnie's done a great job of recruiting a strong team and there's at least two players who can play in every position."

Sydney are overwhelming favourites to win the premiership ahead of Friday night's top-of-the-table clash with Victory.

COMMENT: Sydney will win A-League premiership

Wilkinson and Co. lead the Big V by eight points heading into the match at Allianz Stadium and would effectively end Victory's hopes of bridging the gap with a third straight Big Blue triumph.

In the previous two fixtures of 2016-17 between Sydney and Victory, the Sky Blues have come from behind to win 2-1.

"Both games this [season] have been really good, exciting games," Wilkinson said.

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"This one, it's one v two again and a lot of pressure on them. They have to win to bridge the gap between us and them.

"So they'll be looking to come up and play attacking football and looking to win, so it has all the makings of an exciting game."

 

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