For Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold round one can’t come soon enough as he said it’s been too long since he last stepped out at Allianz Stadium.
The Sky Blues take on Melbourne City at home in round one of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season and Arnold believes he has the players to excite this year following a long and tough pre-season regime.
“It’s been too long. For myself I miss the adrenalin rush every week and I miss being on the sideline and having those supporters behind us,” Arnold said.
“Allianz Stadium is the best football stadium in the country and when it’s full or you’ve got a good crowd the atmosphere is fantastic.
“We’ve got probably the best supporter group in the country in The Cove who lead the way and we can’t wait to get back out in front of them. One thing that we are really trying to set this year is making our home form is better and we need those fantastic fans to be our 12th man again this year.
“Preparations have been very good,” he continued.
“We’ve had a number of games and one week out before the competition starts we have 23 fit players.
“I think Ninkovic is a top quality player as is Holosko and for the fans to get Dimitrijevic back, he was a crowd favourite last year, even better. We’ve recruited a lot of young Australian boys and I think overall the whole squad will hopefully excite the fans and we’ll get record crowds this year.”
While missing a headline grabbing marquee from last year in David Villa, Arnold believes City will be stern opening day opposition as he said their recent monetary influx has seen them rise to become one of the powerhouses of the league.
“I’m expecting a very tough game like it was last year,” he said.
“Last year they had the x-factor in David Villa to help them out but this year they’ve got more stability and they’ve got their marquee Robbie Koren who’s been here for a year so he knows what to expect.
“They’re going to be a tough proposition but I’m confident in what we do and again it’s down to us.
“I think that Melbourne City have recruited extremely well,” he continued.
“They’ve gone from Melbourne Heart, they were a club that weren’t setting the highest standards and not being able to set the example to the A-League for budgetary reasons, to now where they’re probably setting the standards.
“John Van’t Schip has a big job this year managing all the quality players he’s got and early signs show that they’re going to be one of the top three this year.”
Sydney FC take on Melbourne City in round one at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 10 October (kick off 7:30pm). Purchase your tickets today or become a Member and ensure you don’t miss a moment of action this season.
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