Sydney FC star keen to impress against EPL big guns
IN 2013 it was Manchester United, followed two years later by Chelsea and Tottenham, and this year Liverpool and Arsenal will play high-profile matches in Sydney.
There's been real commitment shown by the NSW Government to get the best clubs in the world to the Harbour City and Stuart Ayres, the Minister for Sport, says the main drive has been to boost the local economy and showcase Sydney.
"We're very keen to have the best events in Australia located here in Sydney," he said.
"Sporting events are so much a part of the city and when it comes to English Premier League clubs we know that they have such passionate supporters who travel to the locations where their clubs are playing.
"They're a huge boost to the local economy because of their spending at local hotels, restaurants and cafes. So not only is it a fantastic sporting experience, it also injects quite large sums of money into our local economy."
Arranged at the last minute, Liverpool's end-of-season friendly match against Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night is already tracking to be a sellout.
The Sky Blues have been at the forefront of arranging these matches, having played against Chelsea and Spurs, but this year the Western Sydney Wanderers have also been involved. In July, Sydney and the Wanderers will play against Arsenal as part of the English club's preseason preparations.
But first Liverpool, and self-confessed Reds fan Rhyan Grant is looking forward to capping off a memorable season for Sydney by facing some of the players he looks up to.
It might be an exhibition match, but the fullback says you never know who could be watching.
"Playing in front of massive crowds, there are always people watching these games, so you never know what can come from it," he said. "For us as players and professionals you want to put your best foot forward and see what comes of it.
"It's been a very successful season for us at Sydney FC and playing against Liverpool will be massive. Personally they're my favourite team too, so it will be good for myself and the boys are pretty pumped.
"Any of their players I'd love to come up against, hopefully they don't make a fool of me. We'll put our best foot forward and hopefully give them a good run for their money."