While lamenting the loss of his captain for three to four weeks, Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold is confident his squad can cope with Alex Brosque’s absence as he praised the depth and quality of his team ahead of Saturday’s double header at ANZ Stadium.
There will be a welcome return on Saturday though, as Arnold confirmed Iraqi Ali Abbas will be included in the squad for his first Hyundai A-League match in over a year after the 29 year old overcame a serious knee injury sustained 14 months ago.
“Brosquey is out, he’s out for three or four weeks,” Arnold said.
“We didn’t bring him back early, he got misdiagnosed with his scan and he trained the full week before the Mariners game, he wasn’t feeling anything and then 25 minutes into the Mariners game he felt it.
“It’s a blow to lose your captain but I was very happy with what George Blackwood did last week. I’ve got faith in the Australian youngsters we’ve got here.
“Ali will be in the squad this week,” he continued.
“Finally, after 13, 14 months after he copped the horrendous injury, he’s worked extremely hard. We’ve held him back for a couple of weeks knowing Alex Gersbach was going to go away with the Olympic team, so it’s good to have Ali back.
“I think the Sydney FC fans will be excited to see him back on the field, he’s a crowd favourite.
“It’s a decision in the next 48 hours whether we start him or he comes off the bench but he’s done his time now in terms of playing games for the youth team and training sessions so he’s ready to go.”
Saturday sees Sydney FC’s Westfield W-League squad play ahead of the Hyundai A-League in a double header at ANZ Stadium, and Arnold praised the initiative as he said he’s looking forward to watching the women’s match.
“It’s great, it’s not often that you have the W-League before our A-League game,” he said.
“Sydney is a club that embraces women’s football as well and we’re looking forward to watching the women before our game.
“It’s massive, it’s a very important game for both teams and it’s really exciting,” continued Westfield W-League captain Teresa Polias.
“To play on such a prestigious field as well, we’re looking forward to it and it’s a very important game for us heading into the semi-finals.”
Sydney FC take on the Newcastle Jets in a Westfield W-League/Hyundai A-League double header on Saturday 9 January at ANZ Stadium. Purchase your tickets today and be in attendance to cheer on the Sky Blues across two leagues.