Luke Brattan says he’s forever be indebted to Ange Postecoglou for handing him his professional debut almost a decade ago.
But the classy midfielder hopes to get the better of his former mentor when his Sydney FC side take on Postecoglou’s Yokohama F.Marinos in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Sky Blues have arrived in Japan for their 2020 ACL opener against the reigning J-League champions.
While it will be a tricky first-up assignment for Steve Corica’s side, it’s also a reunion of sorts for Brattan, who won two Hyundai A-League titles under Postecoglou at Brisbane Roar.
“He [Postecoglou] was a massive part of my career,” Brattan told Sydney FC’s official website after arriving in Japan.
“He gave me my first contract so I’m forever grateful.
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“It’s going to be difficult but a lot of fun.
"It’s business. We’re here to win.”
While the Sky Blues are heading into their third straight campaign in the ACL, this is Yokohama’s first appearance in the competition since 2014.
They have had three previous outing in the ACL, failing to get out of the group stage on each occasion.
But Yokohama made an excellent start to this year’s campaign, beating Jeonbuk Motors 2-1 in Korea in the opening group game last week.
“It’s going to be tough but I think we have a great squad and we’re looking forward to it,” Brattan said.
Sydney FC – who hold a 10-point lead at the top of the ladder - haven’t played in the Hyundai A-League since a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar on January 31.
They return to domestic duties on Sunday with a trip to Gosford to play Central Coast Mariners.
Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC
Sunday, 23 February
Central Coast Stadium
Kick-off: 6pm AEDT