Luke Brattan eyeing Big Blue return


by Jeremy Walker

Sky Blues veteran midfielder Luke Brattan is ahead of schedule with ACL rehabilitation as the four-time Isuzu UTE A-League winner eyes a long-awaited return in tonight’s colossal Big Blue clash at Allianz Stadium.

After tearing his ACL against Sydney Olympic in the FFA Cup last year, Brattan is raring to get back out on the pitch against Melbourne Victory in the opening round of the 2022/23 A-League season as Sydney FC return to Moore Park following a lengthy four-year hiatus.

“It’s a great feeling but it’s a strange one as well, I never had a long-term injury but the excitement at the moment around the club, the team and the new stadium is great,” said Brattan.

Luke Brattan training at Allianz Stadium

“I’m a little bit nervous at the moment, it’s been a while since I’ve played in front of a crowd but there’s a good feeling and a bit of a buzz around so I’m really excited.”

Eager for first-team action after an extensive spell on the sidelines, Brattan is determined to restore the Sky Blues’ winning formula in the new campaign.

“We want to win,” Brattan added, “Obviously last year wasn’t good enough after more than a few pretty successful years.

“We’re all accountable for what happened and we know it’s not good enough and we want to get back to where we belong, not just in finals, but winning trophies.”

Hungry to be crowned an A-League champion for the fifth time, Brattan believes he is now stronger because of his ACL setback – putting in the hard yards during recovery.

“It was tough but in sport these things happen,” the midfielder said.

“I never really had to overcome something like that before but I think that it’s added to my character and the club has been fantastic with me.

Brattan’s knee after surgery

“I’ve game-readied [strengthened] my knee for two hours every single day for nine months and my partner has not complained once so I couldn’t have done it without her or my kids, they’ve helped me hang in there.”

As the new A-League season gets underway, Sydney FC Head Coach Steve Corica will look to reintegrate Brattan into his new-look side – easing the 2019/20 Sky Blues Player of the Year back to full fitness.

“He’s really ahead of schedule at the moment, he’s already played in two or three of the [pre-season] games,” said Corica.

“I wouldn’t say he’s going to last 90 minutes but he’s doing really well, obviously a very important player for us.

“We missed him last season and he brings a lot of experience but you know the quality that he has on the ball as well, I’m sure that will help us this season.”

Brattan is in contention to start for Steve Corica’s Sky Blues this Saturday against Melbourne Victory in the opening weekend of the new 2022/23 Isuzu UTE A-League season at Allianz Stadium – kick-off 7:45pm AEDT.