JULY 14 2017
Playing against Arsenal as captain of Crystal Palace was always a big occasion. The Gunners culture and values are world renowned; their playing style is a joy to watch and – as we’ll see at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night – they have a huge fan base that extends way beyond London.
We’re honoured as the football club that represents Western Sydney to be playing our first ever international friendly match against Arsenal. A game against a football club of Arsenal’s stature – they’re one of the biggest teams in the world – is a huge honour for any club.
Our players are certainly aware of this honour. Arsenal are a club steeped in history, and the fact they have spent the last 20 seasons in the Champions League puts their status as football giants into perspective.
It’s because of my experience as a player in England I can fully appreciate the emotions many of the Wanderers’ players have experienced (and will experience) as they’ve prepared for this special occasion.
I know they’ll wake up this Saturday morning excited to be playing against a team that boasts World Cup winners; a team that has recently won the FA Cup and, as I said during the week, a team that contains, for the younger members of our squad, their idols.
Despite the respect my players have for the visitors, as their coach I know they will approach this match with fearlessness and determination.
Source : The Canberra Times