Last week he scored what could well be the goal of the year, but Brendon Santalab has already put that highlight behind him and is now focused on helping Sydney FC continue its unbeaten start to the season.
Last week he scored what could well be the goal of the year, but Brendon Santalab has already put that highlight behind him and is now focused on helping Sydney FC continue its unbeaten start to the season when the side travels to New Zealand this weekend.
“Going over there-s not easy, obviously they-re on the bottom of the table and they-re the hardest games to play,” said the 26-year-old. “We-ve got to keep our feet on the ground, we-ve had good success over the last five weeks but we-ve got a job to do in Wellington.”
Based on the evidence of his strike last Saturday against Adelaide United you could be forgiven for assuming the young attacker is a man in a hurry, but Santalab is ready to bide his time after recently returning from a quadricep strain.
“I was on the injury list for a long time and obviously it-s going to take me some time to get back to my full match fitness,” said Santalab. “The next few weeks, hopefully I get a bit more time and I-ll slowly get my match fitness back.”
With coach, John Kosmina all but certain to stick with the same starting line-up that-s been bringing Sydney success, Santalab will likely take his place on the bench come Sunday, but the Wollongong product is confident he can fight his way into the first eleven.
“You always want to start and that-s what I want to do obviously,” he explained. “(But) it-s a good challenge for me to push the players that are starting now and basically that-s all I can do.”
Sydney will start as clear favourites against the Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
The Hyundai A-League match kicks off in Wellington at 2pm Australian time.