Attacking midfielder Max Burgess says the Sky Blues young stars of the future can play with freedom during their first Australia Cup experience for Sydney FC this Sunday, having been in a similar position himself once upon a time.
Burgess was 20 years old when he scored his maiden goal in Sky Blue in only his second appearance for the club, away to Western Australia outfit Sorrento in the 2015 FFA Cup.
In the 4pm kick off against the Central Coast Mariners this weekend, there is every possibility the likes of Jaiden Kucharski, 20, Adrian Segecic, 18, and Jake Girdwood-Reich, 18, could make their Australia Cup bows for Sydney FC.
And Burgess has urged them to enjoy the experience.
“They’ve been really impressive in the trial games that we’ve had, they’ve got great attitudes and enthusiastic personalities, and I’m excited for them should they play,” he said.
“They’ve integrated well into the group and I’m sure they will go out there on Sunday and perform really well.
“There’s no pressure on them and they can go out with freedom and enjoy it.”
Burgess remembers his own FFA Cup debut and his goal well and believes the Australia Cup has a different vibe.
“I was a young pup back then and that was probably one of my first games; I remember Riley [Woodcock] giving me a big hug after I scored,” he continued.
“The special thing about the Cup is that it is knockout and it has that all or nothing feel which is exciting, and it’s another opportunity to win a trophy. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Mariners knocked the Sky Blues out at the semi-final stage last season but the former National Youth League Championship winner says Sydney FC feel confident.
“It’s been a good start to pre-season, the energy is good and the vibes are good, strong and positive.
“The boys are building, the sessions are intense and competitive which is important and I’m looking forward to getting out there on Sunday and having a competitive match.
“They [Central Coast Mariners] will be as excited as we are to play in a competitive match as it’s been a couple of months since the end of the season.
“They will be hungry like we are but our focus has been on ourselves and we’ll worry about that.”
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