Playing conditions called into question in Sydney

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Sydney FC got the better of Adelaide United at Jubilee Stadium, but player welfare was the main concern of the fixture.

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Bushfires have ravaged New South Wales in recent months and temperatures in the late thirties by kickoff time on Saturday evening was cause for concern for players and officials.

Heat, combined with wind, made for horrific football conditions.

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Sydney coach Steve Corica said the weather was not ideal but something his team dealt with.

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“We had the drinks break, we followed protocol,” he said.

“It is now all about recovery, making sure they (the players) eat well and sleep well.”

The teams were given two drinks breaks during the match.

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Sydney midfielder Paulo Retre said both teams did well to play at a relatively high tempo.

“I reckon that is up there with the hardest (conditions)”, he said.

“It was dry, hot, and the wind at the end topped it all off.”

Retre said the conditions took a significant toll on player performance.

“It is a lot more physically demanding”, he said.

“When you make a couple of runs you feel out of breath.”

“Things you can normally get to or you feel like you are in the right position you are just maybe not there.”

There have been some calls for A-League games to be scheduled differently to accommodate the volatile Australian summer conditions.

“Whether it means scheduling games on different days or maybe a time change I’m not sure but today it was tough,” Retre said.

Individually, Retre had one of his best performances in Sky Blue despite the conditions – scoring two goals just days after securing a new two-year deal with the club.

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Sydney’s “Mr Fix-it” is enjoying a consistent run of starting berths, even if it is not in the same position every week.

“It’s not always easy chopping and changing”, he said.

“It’s more mentally tough to get your head around.”

Sydney’s next match is away to Newcastle where they will be looking to extend on their nine match unbeaten run.

Feature image credit: Supplied

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Jordan Warren
Football mad, Bachelor of Journalism student at UOW. Liverpool to win the league. Covering Sydney FC in the A-League and W-League for 2019-20.