The decision was made after several injuries in last week’s match against St George and the departure of three players on international duty left the Sky Blues with insufficient numbers.

Compounding the problem is the unavailability of National Youth players, who are preparing for important matches for their NSW Premier League clubs next week. The remaining National Youth League players are away with the Australian U17 team.

“It’s very disappointing to have to cancel one of the friendlies but we literally don’t have enough players to put a team on the pitch,” Sydney FC coach Ian Crook said. “It’s especially disappointing because Manly United have always been good to us so this is a decision we haven’t taken lightly.

“We have players who have had off season surgery, a few players picked up knocks last week against St George, we have three boys away with the U20s and all of our National Youth League players are back with their State League clubs, and we can’t argue with that as they have been great.”

Acknowledging that the late cancellation is a disappointment for Manly United and its supporters, Sydney FC coaches Ian Crook and Steve Corica will be joined by Sky Blues stars to assist Manly United coaching staff in preparing all of their junior teams on Monday night.

The training sessions, to be held at Cromer Park, will include Manly United’s U9/U10 Skills Acquisition Program (SAP) squad, as well as the U11, U12, U13, U14, U15 and U18 teams.

The remaining pre season program is:
Sat 1 Sep              Sydney FC v Adelaide United      Marconi Stadium                                              5.00pm
Wed 5 Sep          Sydney FC v APIA Leichhardt      Leichhardt Oval                                                 7.30pm
Sun 9 Sep            Sydney FC v Newcastle Jets        Leichhardt Oval                                                 2.00pm
Sun 16 Sep          Brisbane Roar v Sydney FC           Virgin Australia Stadium, Mackay              tbc
Sat 22 Sep           Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC        Budgewoi Sports Complex                           2.00pm