Sydney FC to recover lost momentum in Brisbane Roar double-header

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Multiple match postponements and positive cases in the Sydney FC camp have left the Sky Blues eager for victory in their two upcoming matches against Brisbane Roar.

After being beaten to the punch twice by Melbourne City in 2021, Sydney FC closed off a bittersweet calendar year on Boxing Day with a comprehensive 3-0 win at Macarthur, in a performance described by captain Alex Wilkinson as “probably the best we’ve had all season.”

But with the Omicron variant precariously sweeping across the nation, the Sydneysiders have since seen two of their A-League Men fixtures postponed and another, their FFA Cup quarter-final tie with Brisbane Roar, shifted from its original Christmas week scheduling to this coming Wednesday night.

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Compounded by the A-Leagues original fixtures remaining intact, any inch of momentum gained from Sydney’s last outing with Macarthur was laid to rest after multiple positive cases within the squad, leaving the Sky Blues raring to meet the abnormal challenge of facing the same team twice in four days.

“It’s been a while, obviously, since we’ve had the chance to play but hopefully we continue the form that we were in before the break and take it into these next few games, “said Rhyan Grant.

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Despite COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the club and players, Wilkinson and Grant both remain confident that the disruption has not affected the squad’s energy levels.

“For the few in the camp that have been in isolation, they’ve only been back training for a couple of days now,” said Wilkinson.

“But we’ve had a few good training sessions the last couple of days to really nail down and get used to each other again,” said Grant. “I think everyone’s just excited to be around each other and mingling.”

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Grant is no stranger to COVID-19 himself, having contracted the virus in early December.

“I thought I felt quite good straight after it,” he said. “But I think in hindsight, it did take a good couple of weeks to get back to feeling fully fresh.”

“You go through different bouts of having energy and then the next day, I suppose you’re a little bit more lethargic than you’re used to.”

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In a first for the tournament, the winner of the FFA Cup this year will bag a spot in the AFC Champions League group stage, undoubtedly fuelling Sydney’s desire for silverware in the wake of last season’s double disappointment.

“I think it’s very important,” said Grant.

“At Sydney FC we want to win silverware every season, so it’s another thing that we’re really striving for.”

“That place in the Champions League is very important now as it’s only cut down to the one automatic spot and I think that’s one competition where we know we can do better in but haven’t been able to as of late, so hopefully we can get that done.”

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With the cross-competition double header being played out on Wednesday and Saturday at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, the Sky Blues can only hope that the untimely break will serve to benefit the squad.

“I hope that we can sort of start the game the way we left off against Macarthur,” said Wilkinson.

“Hopefully, with a couple of wins we can keep that momentum going.”

Feature Image Credit: Jaime Castaneda

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Jimmy Alexander
Covering Sydney FC for the 2021/22 A-League season. Studying a Bachelor of Sports Media (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University.

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