Musialik named captain, says team fit to go
Stand-in skipper Stuart Musialik is adamant Sydney FC won’t face any fitness issues against Chinese heavyweights Shanghai Shenhua in Wednesday night’s 2011 AFC Champions League clash at the Sydney Football Stadium (8pm kick-off).
Stand-in skipper Stuart Musialik is adamant Sydney FC won-t face any fitness issues against Chinese heavyweights Shanghai Shenhua in Wednesday night-s 2011 AFC Champions League clash at the Sydney Football Stadium (8pm kick-off).
With vice-captains Hayden Foxe and Alex Brosque departing the club and Terry McFlynn suspended, Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka announced Musialik would wear the captains armband while Stephan Keller and Mark Bridge will step up into the role of vice captains and said experience was a key factor behind his decision.
Despite not playing for five weeks due to the Japan tragedy, Musialik has insisted the team will last the full 90 minutes and won-t succumb towards the end of the match with Shanghai fresh off their opening match of the Chinese Super League.
“We-re coming off a solid season. We-re not at the beginning of the season or coming off an off-season so fitness shouldn-t be a worry tomorrow night.”
Lavicka recognised it wasn-t ideal but assured fans his side will be ready.
“It is a strange situation, no games in five weeks. But we spent the time in between well with training and practice games.
“We-re ready and focused.”
Despite receiving the captaincy, Musialik played down talks of a new contract looming on the horizon.
“I-m not looking at it that way. It-s an honour and privilege to take Terry-s spot when he-s out in the Asian Champions League.
“Whatever happens after the Champions League happens.”
Lavicka agreed the uneven and pot-hole filled Sydney Football Stadium will be difficult to play on but emphasised that the conditions are the same for both sides and their teams will not be phased.
“Sydney FC likes to play a passing game but it is difficult to do on this pitch.
“I agree conditions could be better. There is busy traffic because of the footy and it is not easy to manage. But conditions are the same for both teams and we are ready.”
Meanwhile Shanghai coach Xi Zhikang payed respect to a “strong and traditional” Sydney FC team and stressed tomorrows match was “very important” for his team.
Captain Yu Tao didn-t make the trip to Australia and Wang Dalei will step up into the role of skipper tomorrow night.