Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well, that your spirits are good leading into Christmas and that life is more normal than it was the last time I wrote this column.
Life has been anything but normal for us for the last five weeks.
Fortunately that time is about to come to an end and our Sydney FC players and staff will get out of hotel quarantine on Saturday evening and return to our families in time for Christmas, and the A-League season start on December 30th.
We left Sydney for our AFC Champions League campaign in Doha 33 days ago and have been confined to our hotels in Qatar and Sydney every day since; except when we’ve had a training session or a match.
In Qatar we were allowed the freedom to move around the floor of our hotel, however in Sydney we’ve had to stay in our rooms for the last 12 days, and only been allowed out for two hours to go to training.
We’ve had a police escort everywhere we’ve been to ensure our security and that there’s no risk of coronavirus infection either inside or outside our group.
It has been tough and mentally very testing, however the boys have all pulled together well and I’m sure it has brought us closer together as a group.
That is a positive we’ve been able to take from the situation, especially heading into the opening game in less than two weeks.
I think the way we performed in Qatar was also a great positive and a good sign ahead of the season.
We outplayed some of Asia’s best teams in large parts of the tournament and I think it shows we are going to have a strong year.
The first game against City is a hard first match up however, but if we get a crowd which is anywhere near as passionate as we had in the same fixture last season, I’m sure that will give us the extra boost we need.
It was an incredible game and an incredible performance from the boys to come from 1-0 down with ten men and win the game.
That match put us perfectly on the road to winning the Premiers’ Plate and in turn the Championship.
I’m sure a win this time around will be equally important on our journey to the ‘Three-peat’ – we just need that unbelievable support once again.