Captain Alex Wilkinson believes there are plenty of positives to take from the Australia Cup run as new squad members and new systems are implemented.
Despite going down 2-1, Wednesday night’s match allowed Sydney FC fans to get their first look at new signings Joe Lolley and Robert Mak and the centre-back believes the best is yet to come from them.
He said: “It was great to see both of them on the pitch and it’s important to consider that they haven’t been with us for that long, so they are still getting up to speed, and it is taking time for them to adjust to the way that the coaches want them to play, both with and without the ball.
“They’re both going to bring a lot of quality to the team and the more games they can get under their belt before the start of the season, the better.”
Wilkinson and the rest of his team-mates are still adjusting to the new system that Head Coach Steve Corica is implementing which will take time to perfect.
“It is obviously different from what majority of the group was used to last season, so I think there is a lot of things that we can still improve on, but I also think there are things that we are doing quite well. We are still tweaking and fine tuning it as we go,” Wilkinson said.
“We now have five or six weeks until the season starts so I’m sure we are going have a few friendly games, and our training will ramp up too as we near October. There’s still a lot to work on but we are enjoying playing a different way and learning to play in a different formation.”
As Wilkinson and his team-mates prepare for the start of the season, they can look forward to having the likes of Luke Brattan, Jack Rodwell and Alex Parsons within the playing squad after they missed the last match due to injury and being cup-tied.
“We still have a number of players to come back into the team in Jack [Rodwell] and Alex [Parsons], also Bratsy [Luke Brattan], Woody [Patrick Wood] and JK [Jaiden Kucharski] who have injuries at the moment but ones that aren’t too serious, so hopefully they should all be right in the next couple of weeks.”
It is not just the Sydney FC fans that are excited to head back to the new stadium as the captain revealed too.
“It’s been a difficult four years away from home but I think as a whole, the club has handled it really well. Now the stadium is open, having the opportunity to go and see it, we can’t wait to see, hear and feel the match-day experience and for the playing group, now that it is only a few weeks away, it is motivating us even more.
“We cannot wait for the first game back there, and being against our rivals Melbourne Victory, we are going to spend the remaining weeks of pre-season ensuring that we can start the season off on the right foot, giving our fans who come along, something to cheer about.”
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