With ties to both clubs, former Sydney FC Head Coach and Arsenal player John Kosmina says 2017’s clash between the Sky Blues and Gunners will be a collision of capital cities at ANZ Stadium.
Kosmina said the Gunners will prove a good challenge for the Sky Blues and said the timing of the game is perfect for the profile of football with winter competitions still in effect throughout July.
“You could say Arsenal are a London club, and London is the capital of the UK and I suppose Sydney like to think of itself as the capital of Australia, one of the big capital cities of Australia,” he said.
“Sydney FC have an image as one of the bigger clubs in the country so there’s that aspect as well.
“It’s great that they’re coming over and it will be a good challenge for Sydney FC,” he continued.
“It’s still 12 months away but it’s good that you can get clubs like Arsenal out here because they don’t travel too often. That’s how I ended up at Arsenal, because they came out on a tour.
“I don’t think they’ve been back since and that was in 1977 they came out, that was what helped me get over there in the first place.
“It’s good that you get clubs like this to come across, Arsenal have a massive supporter group in Australia as well so from that perspective it’s good.
“It brings money into the economy of the football game as opposed to our competition in Aussie Rules, Rugby League and Union.
“With the tournament coming up now you’ve got big clubs coming from all different countries in Europe and they’ve all got massive crowds so that’s important in this time of year when it’s our opposition’s season.”
An Arsenal player between 1978 and 1979, Kosmina labelled his time at Highbury as “interesting”, with the current Brisbane City Head Coach the only Australian to have represented the London club.
“I’m not really into accolades and that I suppose but it’s something nice to have next to your name,” he said.
“I was there 30 years ago, but it’s one of the biggest clubs in the world. When I went to England in ‘78 I didn’t actually realise, I didn’t have a concept for how big a club Arsenal was.
“There were three clubs in England when people talk about the big, big clubs, that’s Arsenal, Man United and Liverpool and Arsenal are one of the top three.
“For me it was an interesting experience, I learnt a lot more after I left than when I was there actually, I didn’t realise what I was walking away from but that’s another story.
“It’s just a massive club, they’ve been starved of a bit of success lately but there’s a lot of history there and tradition is so important at that club as well.”
Sydney FC take on Arsenal FC at ANZ Stadium on Thursday 13 July, 2017 with tickets going on public sale on Tuesday 19 July, 2016. Become a 2016/17 Sydney FC Member today and gain access to the exclusive Members only ticket pre-sale on Friday 15 July, 2016.
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