If home is where the heart is, Brandon O’Neill will be leaving his in Sydney as the Sky Blues prepare for their upcoming FFA Cup fixture against Perth at Dorrien Gardens.
The 22 year-old was born in the Western Australian capital and spent five years in Perth’s set up before he was released to Sydney FC.
It is no surprise, then, that he was more than pleased with the draw.
“After the game in Wollongong, we were all watching the draw in the dressing room and when [Perth] Glory’s name came out I was the first person running around excited,” said O’Neill.
“I was like a kid on Christmas.”
Despite this, O’Neill and the team are focused going all the way not only in the FFA Cup, but all three competitions.
“Every game against Perth gives me an incentive to be even better than my best because there’s a lot of history there and I still have a lot of mates back at the Glory,” he said.
“I’m definitely looking forward to going back and beating them, that’s for sure.
“We want to be in everything and win everything. I think we have the team and more drive than ever to accomplish that.
“We just need to stay focused and work hard in this preseason.”
The unfamiliar conditions of a bumpy pitch and hostile crowd in an intimate Dorrien Gardens may be a banana skin for the Sky Blues, but it’s a venue O’Neill is relishing returning to.
“There’ll be a great atmosphere, a great number of people there cheering on both teams,” said O’Neill.
“Regardless of the pitch, it’s still two teams playing football and I think the fans will come and appreciate two Hyundai A-League teams having a right go trying to get into the quarter finals.”
Perth Glory have some familiar faces coming into this clash. Liam Reddy, Marc Warren and Richard Garcia, who all featured in their last fixture against Brisbane Roar, are all former Sky Blues.
It’s Sydney’s roster, however, that O’Neill maintains is dominant.
“We have different players that can play different positions,” he said.
“We’re well-rounded, especially when the likes of Bernie [Ibini] and coming into the mix.
“We have pace, we have drive, we have quality and people that can score goals, so it’s an exciting time to be a Sydney FC fan.”
Sydney FC face Perth Glory at Dorrien Gardens in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 on Tuesday 30 August 8.30pm AEDT. The match will be streamed live on foxsports.com.au
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