Matthews undaunted by Reds and his parents’ shock debut reaction

Despite only making his starting debut last weekend, young Sydney FC centre half Hayden Matthews isn’t too daunted by the thought of facing Adelaide United’s all-star frontline at Allianz Stadium this Saturday.

Bayern Munich loanee Nestory Irankunda, Japanese striker Hiroshi Ibusuki and former Socceroo Ben Halloran are all set to bear down on the 19-year old should he keep his place in central defence alongside fellow teenager and former school-mate Jake Girdwood-Reich.

Matthews will be coming off a high after a show stopping 3-1 win against the Central Coast Mariners last weekend, when he was selected in the starting line-up for the first time.

And also revealed his parents surprising reaction to his selection.

“It’s going to be another tight game [vs Adelaide United],” said the 19-year old.

“We have to stay focused. We know what we are up against and know how to deal with it.”

“Hiroshi Ibusuki scored a hat-trick against us last time. He is a very dangerous player. Nestory Irankunda is also a very dangerous player.

Anthony Caceres celebrates with Hayden Matthews and Luke Brattan after scoring a goal against the Central Coast Mariners last weekend.

The last meeting between the Sky Blues and Adelaide United saw the Harbour City club just fall short after a hat-trick from Ibusuki and a goal from Irankunda overpowered the efforts from opening goal scorer Anthony Caceres and a late double from Joe Lolley.

With the result being 4-3 at the full time whistle, Matthews wants to avoid history repeating itself.

“It will be a tough contest but the boys are pretty confident.

“[During training] a lot of the focus has been on us and our positioning when we are off the ball. We want to counter their style of play and show what we can do to win the game.

“We are coming off a good result against the Central Coast Mariners,” he continued.

“We always back ourselves to beat anyone.”

Joe Lolley contends with Adelaide United defender during their last meeting in round 12.

The 19 year-old who made his debut for the Isuzu UTE A-League team in January is enjoying the high intensity of the competition and wants to continue the success for fans and Members.

“The league is tight which makes it entertaining.

“Anyone can beat anyone on any given day. I think all matches are just as important as the other.

“Three points can mean the difference between sixth and ninth.

“We want to put our best foot forward every week and make sure we are giving 100{98698ff7ed92b99d4e0cecdfdc9e4dccf4922e0a04ff9db373daf4aa83b73fe2} so we can come off the pitch with three points.”

After making his starting debut for Ufuk Talay’s squad last weekend, the Sydney FC Under 20’s captain is heading into this key match-up in high spirits and ready to secure a win.

“I found out Gabi [Lacerda] wasn’t going to make it for the weekend. My parents didn’t believe me,’ he laughed.

“I had the whole week to prepare. Everyone was super supportive and helpful.

“[I am] feeling pretty amazing. It is a dream come true to play for the best team in Australia.

“Hopefully we can bring home three points for our fans and Members.”

You can watch Hayden and the Sky Blue squad at Allianz Stadium or broadcast via Paramount+.

Match Details

Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Isuzu UTE A-League Round 17
Saturday 17th February 2024
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 6:00pm AEDT
Gates Open: 5:00pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+
Tickets: Click Here