It’s no surprise that a number of players who will face off in Wednesday night’s fixture have donned the colours of both the Suns and Sky Blues throughout their career.
There isn’t much separating Sydney FC’s Macquarie University training base and the home ground of Rockdale City Suns, Ilinden Sports Centre.
Given the minimal distance between the two teams, it’s no surprise that a number of players who will face off in Wednesday night’s fixture have donned the colours of both the Suns and Sky Blues throughout their career.
Chief among them is Rockdale’s player/coach Paul Reid, who played 11 games for Sydney FC back in the 2012/13 season before heading south to join the Suns.
The 39-year-old central midfielder is a veteran of New South Wales’ premier competition having played over 100 games for Rockdale, and since 2015 has been Head Coach of the side.
Reid has proved a handy tactician too – his side has only missed out on the NPL NSW finals once during his reign.
Regardless, there will be a strange mix of emotions for Reid when he takes to the pitch, who is currently employed by Sydney FC as their Community Football Officer.
It’s a role that sees Reid represent the Sky Blues throughout the community, but will he have split allegiances come Wednesday night?
It’s unlikely – he and his Rockdale side will undoubtedly be up for what is a mammoth clash against the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers.
Got into work this morning & found this in the toilet. No respect!! You never know there might not be any toilet paper in the away dressing room for @FFACup match between @RockdaleCitySFC & @SydneyFC at Ilinden Sports Centre on Wed 1 Aug. Get your tickets https://t.co/zVfAgyWMFc pic.twitter.com/BmUG9jzymb
— Paul Reid (@PaulReid79) July 24, 2018
The player/coach isn’t the only man who has crossed the Sydney – Rockdale divide, with four other current Suns players all sharing past history at the Harbour City.
Experienced defender Trent McClenahan left Australia in 2002 at the age of 16 to join English Premier League club West Ham United but would eventually be reeled back into the Hyundai A-League by Perth Glory in 2011.
He signed on at Sydney FC in 2012 and was joined in the squad by the likes of Italian icon Alessandro Del Piero and former Caltex Socceroos Brett Emerton, Lucas Neill and Jason Culina.
Daniel Petkovski plied his trade at Sydney for two years and made his first-team debut against Western Sydney Wanderers, before joining Rockdale in 2015.
He has since become one of the side’s most consistent performers.
Not sure if you know but there is a big match on Wednesday night when both my employers @RockdaleCitySFC & @SydneyFC take on each other in the @FFACup at the Ilinden Sports Centre. Kick-off is 7:30pm & there are tickets still available https://t.co/gyV45ec5sn #MagicofTheCup pic.twitter.com/25gUGq6YWF
— Paul Reid (@PaulReid79) July 30, 2018
Alec Urosevski and former Suns striker Bai Antoniou, who recently signed on in Cyprus, have also pulled on the Sky Blue at either senior or youth level in the past and could also be out with a point to prove.
One man who could be extra fired up for this clash is goalkeeper and former Western Sydney Wanderer Ante Covic.
He knows exactly what it’s like to play in a fiercely contested affair against the Sky Blues, having featured in the Sydney Derby during his time at Parramatta.