After shifting into central defence, Jake Girdwood-Reich has become a consistent starter in the side and he will have a tough assignment this weekend against one of the best strikers in the country.
With Bruno Fornaroli scoring goals for fun, he will face a tricky task on Saturday night but the youngster is excited for the challenge that Victory will pose.
“I don’t go into it with nerves, I see it more as excitement to test myself against the best in the league.
“Everyone is saying that he is in red hot form but I back myself to give him a game,” Jake said.
“The more minutes you get as a young player, the more confidence you get. When I first moved into defence, I had two very experienced players next to me [Rodwell and Lacerda] but now that I am comfortable, I can show my ability and help them out as well.”
Girdwood-Reich began as a fan of the club and having transitioned to a player, knows what this match means.
“I was a Cove Member so I went to a lot of games when I was younger but one that sticks out for me is the 6-1 win in the Big Blue.
“They obviously beat us in the first round and now we want to get one back at them at their ground and it’s a massive game and rivalry,” he said.
“All the boys are very keen on the game and I know that we will be up for it.”
Still being a teenager, the former Academy player takes great pride in seeing so many boys he took to the pitch with many years ago get their opportunity in the Isuzu UTE A-League.
“We all came through the system together and I think we have the best Academy in the country and if we get on the pitch we can show what we can do.
“The squad is the youngest we ever had and when we’ve gotten on the pitch, most of us have really taken their chance,” the number 8 added.
This weekend the Sky Blues will be welcoming back Jack Rodwell, Max Burgess and Jaiden Kucharski into the squad and Jake Girdwood-Reich believes that their inclusion could be the difference in Victoria.
“We’ve lacked some consistency this year and we just need a couple of wins on the bounce to jump up the table.
“The boys have been training really well this week and it is good to have competition for places.
“It’s not my decision to who plays on the weekend and Jack could play alongside me as we did in the Australia Cup together, but overall it is good to have him back,” Girdwood-Reich concluded.
Jake Girdwood-Reich will travel to Melbourne this weekend before returning to take on Western United on Saturday 23rd of December at Allianz Stadium.
Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Round Eight
Saturday 16th December 2023
AAMI Park, Melbourne, VIC
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Bold
Tickets: Click Here