On the eve of his first game in charge Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold said he’s happy with the progress the squad is making and is looking forward to his first competitive match as a Sky Blue.
On the eve of his first game in charge Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold said he-s happy with the progress the squad is making and is looking forward to his first competitive match as a Sky Blue.
Arnold is expecting a stern test from a Rams outfit whose season has only just come to a close, but he-s confident the mix of senior and youth players he will field will be able to do the job required in a slightly unfamiliar match format.
“I drive to training every day with a smile on my face I-m enjoying the job so much,” Arnold said.
“It-s a wonderful challenge but I-m delighted with the group of players we have on board here at the moment, they-re working extremely hard and I couldn-t be happier.
“Tomorrow night will be a bit of a mix and match game. It will be a game of three times 30 minutes halves,” he continued.
“At this time of year Rams will be a very tough test because they-re fit and they-re a considerable way through their season.
“Macarthur Rams have been very good in the past by giving us this game early on, Campbelltown is a beautiful stadium with a great surface. The most important thing is we just get 60 minutes in the legs of the senior players and it gives me an opportunity to look at the young boys at the club.”
One Sky Blue Arnold will be casting his eye upon is new acquisition Bernie Ibini as the young winger prepares to play his first game in a Sydney FC shirt.
The 21 year old Young Socceroo said he-s looking forward to the match in what will be a blast from the past, having played against the Rams previously at junior level during his time at Blacktown City.
“It-s very exciting to be able to play my first game for Sydney FC,” Ibini said.
“I played against Macarthur Rams when I was growing up in the Under 11-s and Under 12-s so it-s a place that I-m familiar with.
“Doing all this training and not being able to play is frustrating so to be able to get out onto the park is something I-ve been looking forward to.”
Whilst frustrated at not being able to play a match yet, Ibini won-t have to wait long for some match time after the pacey winger earned a call up to the Foxtel A-League All Stars squad as one of Head Coach Josep Gombau-s wild card picks; a move that has delighted Graham Arnold.
“I think Bernie is a fantastic player,” Arnold said.
“I-ve worked with him for 3 or 4 years and I know what qualities the kid-s got. He-s an exciting player and I-m sure the Sydney FC supporters are going to love the style and excitement that Bernie brings this year.
“It-s a great individual award for Bernie, getting to play against Juventus is a wonderful opportunity for the kid and we-re so proud of the fact that we-ve got 4 players in the All Stars squad. We-re very proud to have him there.”
Kick off at Campbelltown Stadium is 7.30pm, gates open 4.30pm and tickets are $15 per adult, $5 per child/concession & $30 for a family (2 adults and 3 children).
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