From competing in the Foxtel National Youth League to taking on the best in Asia, it’s been a steep learning curve for young Sky Blue Christopher Naumoff.
Four years ago he was taking on the youth teams of Hyundai A-League clubs, last month he scored against the most successful team in AFC Champions League history, and in the build up to tonight’s clash against the same opponents, the 20 year old attacker laid bare the contrasts between the domestic and continental competitions.
“There are a few points of difference between the A-League and ACL,” Naumoff said.
“Some ACL games are much faster, there are probably less room for errors, so full concentration is key for the full 90 minutes.
“My first Champions League experience has been something special so far,” he continued.
“The Champions League really gives you a new type of experience and a different type of challenge.”
Playing in only his second AFC Champions League clash in Korea against tonight’s opponents Pohang Steelers, Naumoff ensured his name would go down in the annals of the Sky Blues as he latched onto a ball from George Blackwood to score the winning goal.
That strike ensured the Sky Blues topped Group H at the half way stage, and it’s a strike Naumoff said he’d remember for a long time to come.
“It’s great to score in any match,” Naumoff said.
“But you could say scoring in the ACL was something special for me. Obviously to give us the 1-0 win will be something I can always remember in my career.
“When we played Pohang in Korea we dominated most of the match and played well, obviously getting the three points was most important.
“For the whole 90 minutes each player did their job and we worked for each other which is what you want in a team each and every week.
“It was a perfect night to get the three points after a long time travelling and the boys were very happy.”
Sydney FC take on Pohang Steelers tonight in matchday four of the AFC Champions League group stage. Catch the match live on Fox Sports 4 or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.