Sport Football Sydney FC raring to defend A-League title

Sydney FC raring to defend A-League title

Sydney FC will kick off their A-League season with a tough away game in Adelaide and Rhyan Grant is excited to finally start their title defence. Photo: AAP
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Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant says they are primed for a tough A-League season opener, after an off-season of change at the defending champions.

The Sky Blues have undergone a significant period of change, with Alex Brosque retiring, Alex Wilkinson taking over as club captain, Josh Brillante departing for Melbourne City and Siem de Jong returning to Europe.

Grant said the defending A-League champions were relishing the prospect of a trip to Adelaide to face the Reds first-up.

“It’s always a tough game for us going to Adelaide so we’re expecting another tough game. It’s kicking off the league – the first game for us and for the league so it’ll be exciting to be a part of that,” Grant said.

Sydney have recruited heavily this off-season, with the likes of Kosta Barbarouses, Ryan McGowan, Luke Brattan and Alexander Baumjohann joining the reigning champions.

“I think all the new players we have brought in have fitted in really well and really quickly,” Grant said.

“It was only a matter of days or a week and everyone felt like they were at home.”

Grant said McGowan, who is entering his first season in the A-League after a long career overseas, had proved a significant inclusion.

“He’s obviously a great player but a real good fella too and brings a lot of energy and a lot of laughter to training which is very important,” Grant said.

“So we’re stoked to have him at Sydney.”

Grant has enjoyed a meteoric rise – making his Socceroos debut in November 2018, then establishing himself as Australia’s starting right-back.

“I rarely take the time to really think about it – I just go along with it, because it’s life at the minute and it’s very enjoyable and I’m just trying to make the most of the opportunities I’m getting at the minute and trying to play as many games as I can and keep enjoying it,” Grant said.

“So for me, as good as it’s been, it’s just business as usual. I think that’s pretty cliche but it’s my way of approaching it and just trying to keep going as far as I can and improve and try and stick around that national team and continue to do well for Sydney.”