Familiar Faces Reunite On Thursday Night


It will be a tale of old clubs at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night as Shane Smeltz and Richard Garcia line up against their former teams for the first time.

Smeltz, who spent three years at Perth making over 50 appearances, said he was excited and is confident the Sky Blues can ascend the ladder and take first place.

“I’m pretty excited about the game, it’s always nice to play your old club,” Smeltz said.

“It’s a game you definitely want to win and get one up over your old club and I think we’re on track to do that.

“The way I see it both sides have good momentum. We’re undefeated and we take confidence from that, we look forward to every game we play at home because we want to go and win that.

“They’re the team to beat in this league at the moment and for us Thursday night is a chance to go top and I think we’ll go ahead of them.”

Smeltz is particularly keen to get out on the Allianz Stadium turf, with the crowd behind him this time as the New Zealand international recounted how intimidating it is to travel to the Harbour City.

“For me, playing at Allianz is something I enjoy a lot. I know how difficult it can be coming here from Perth.

“It’s never easy, they’ve been on the road for a week and then to come to Allianz to play Sydney, we’re a good side so I’m sure they’re expecting a tough day and hopefully we can give them one.”

Former Sydney FC forward Richard Garcia is likewise relishing his return to Allianz Stadium on Thursday as his Perth Glory side take on the Sky Blues with top spot up for grabs.

Sydney FC are in contention to equal their club record unbeaten streak of 9 matches should they pick up at least a point and Garcia believes Thursday night’s match will go down to the wire with both sides out to display their attacking intent.

“I think it’s going to be a tough game,” he said.

“The A-League is getting better and better and it’s hard to pick any game. Obviously we come on an away trip for two away games, we had Brisbane and now Sydney. We’re trying to pick up as many points as we can so we’ll be going out to win.”

Garcia is looking forward to catching up with old team mates and he’s looking forward to the reception he’ll receive when he steps back out on the Allianz Stadium pitch, on which his final touch in a Sky Blues shirt was to score a 93rd minute winner to send Sydney FC in the semi-finals.

“I made some really good friends and I’ve been talking to a few of them,” he said.

“I enjoyed my season last year at Sydney FC and it’ll be nice to play again at Allianz and enjoy the fans. I know the team has changed a little bit but it will be good to see some familiar faces as well.

“It’s always funny when you go back to a team you used to play for. The fans may not be as nice as they were to you the year before but I just see it as part of football and I’m looking forward to it.”

Sydney FC take on the Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night (kick off 7:30pm) in a top of the table clash. Come straight from work and enjoy some midweek football as the Sky Blues look to equal their club record undefeated streak. Gates open at 6:30pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

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