Shan's Shenanigans #3

Birthday boy Shan gives us his thoughts on what it was like matching up against one of his boyhood idols and why the Festival of Football is here to stay.

The Festival of Football is over.

Thanks to all the fans (of any of the clubs) who made the effort to come to the games and provide some atmosphere for us and our guests.

I'm assuming those of you who read this blog do so to get a little bit of insight into what Sydney FC life is like from my point of view. I guess after playing 3 very famous clubs from Europe its only appropriate that I talk a little bit about that.

I don't think I'll be the only person keeping an eye on A.E.K Athens this season. They really were a quality football side.

The game against Rangers... I don-t think I have ever experienced that much rain whilst out on the pitch. It just didn-t stop and I thought, considering the conditions, it would have been a decent game to watch... That's not up to me though is it, that's up to you guys.

So to the game against Blackburn. I had a little chuckle to myself before the game. Looking at the most likely team Blackburn would put on the park, reading names that I hear every weekend when I watch the EPL. I wonder if Diouf or Dunn recognized our names when Allardyce did their team talk... So does that mean it was intimidating? Not at all. They're just people wearing a different colour shirt to us. Our jobs and targets as footballers remain the same regardless of who we play.

I was pleased that Blackburn put out a team, of which I knew all the players, when none of them would've known me. You want to play against the best teams and the best players, both to improve and to show yourself as a team and as an individual.

Was it weird that I own a Senegal jersey from 2002 pretty much because of the guy I was marking on Saturday night? No, not weird. Exciting and satisfying, but not weird...

Was it weird for him when I started talking about the 2002 World Cup Senegalese National team in the change rooms after the game...? Probably...but he was a nice guy about it.

Although on the pitch all you can think about is your job and what the next move or decision should be, afterwards there's no harm in taking a second to appreciate that some of the guys, (I'm talking about Diouf in particular at the moment, but all 3 clubs have won their national league and competed in Europe) are responsible for some big moments in football history.

That's one of the reasons this tournament should be respected and embraced by Sydney's public in future seasons.

So pre-season is done with, compared to most pre-seasons, despite how hard we've worked, I think this one has been quite enjoyable for all the boys.

On Saturday, its Round 1, we play Melbourne Victory. If you're on the Sydney FC site and reading this blog and didn't already know we were playing Melbourne at home this week, I don't know how you've avoided that information but now you know. Saturday night, SFS.

No one needs to pump up the rivalry that has grown between the two clubs. If you haven't been to a Sydney game before... come along, I guarantee you'll enjoy yourself. If you have or you come all the time, try to bring one friend who has never been before. The more people inside the SFS, the more fun it is for players and fans alike.

To the cove and our other loyal fans. Its time again. There's no need to gee you guys up for the season, I know this date has been the only date in your calendar for months... Enjoy it..


P.S. Its my birthday on Wednesday and contrary to what wikipedia says I'm turning 26. Hooray for me... Don't know how Craig Duncan feels about birthday cake... maybe some fruit with candles in it?? Gifts can be sent to the club...