Newcastle Jets captain Nigel Boogaard is going to relish the atmosphere during Friday evening’s clash with his former club Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium.
The 32-year-old defender joined United in 2009 and left in 2015, making 92 Hyundai A-League appearances for the Reds.
Boogaard - who also helped Adelaide to FFA Cup glory in 2014 - left the club to join Newcastle and has been a rock at the heart of the Jets defence ever since.
Boogaard says he cannot wait for the chance to play at Coopers Stadium once again, in front of what he calls "one of the best" crowds in Australia.
“For me, [it] has one of the best atmospheres, I think, in the league,” he said.
“The way that stadium is built [is great] and the fans are on top of you.
"Regardless if they are booing you, it’s still nice to hear that volume in the stadium.
“So it’s always good, always good to go back to where I spent a large chunk of my career and hopefully [we] can walk away there winners.”
Boogaard acknowledged Adelaide’s many threats but said Ernie Merrick’s focus was clear in the build-up to the clash.
“They’re a dangerous side. They’ve got quality all around the park,” he said.
"For us, it’s about concentrating on what we do well. I think when we play our best football and are at our best, that’s when other teams probably have to look and worry about us.
“It’s about us going down there with a mindset and being confident to take it to them.”
After opening the season with a 2-1 loss at Wellington Phoenix, Boogaard called for his side to show more aggression against United.
“[We will] probably try and get at them a little bit more than we did with Wellington, probably short, sharper passes and try and break them down, but the boys are confident,” he added.
“Training was sharp today [Thursday] and the boys have got the mindset of going down there and getting the three points. … for us, it’s about starting a little bit better, making sure we don’t concede first and that will go a long way towards getting us points.”