Cole: Bring on Everton

Sydney FC defender Shannon Cole says he and his team mates are prepared to face the might of English Premier League side Everton when the two sides face-off in a pre-season friendly at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Sydney FC defender Shannon Cole says he and his team mates are prepared to face the might of English Premier League side Everton when the two sides face-off in a pre-season friendly at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

The championship-winning player says it is one step in the build up to the Sky Blues' first round clash against Melbourne Victory in under a month's time.

"We have some big preseason games and it is all leading towards that first game in August 7 to kick off a solid season. It is a really big game. It is the start of a big year for us."

Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavicka is looking to blood some youth players for the match, as he has included 16-year-old Terry Antonis and fellow youngsters Dimitri Petratos and Blake Powell to his 18-man squad.

On top of Australian star Tim Cahill, Everton will take to the ANZ Stadium pitch boasting world class talents including Mikel Arteta, Phil Neville, Louis Saha, Sylvain Distin and Jack Rodwell.

Despite this, Cole said that the Sky Blues preparation had been strong and that the addition of former Sydney FC hero Dwight Yorke would give his team even more confidence.

"It is pretty special for our fans for one of their favourites to come back home. It is almost like a testimonial for him and to play in a big game and a big stadium like that," Cole said.

"He has achieved most things people only ever dream of so it is special for us to have him around and have him involved."

Cole, who formed part of the A-League-s best defensive unit last season, said he the match would be doubly special as he used to stay fit by running around ANZ Stadium as a youngster.

"Everton are a team that plays good football so it is a chance for us - for Sydney FC - to show what we can do against a big time like that," Cole said.

"It is special for me as I used to go for jogs around the stadium all the time when I was younger because I grew up only five minutes from there.

"I am really looking forward to getting out there. I am sure there will be a great atmosphere and it will be a big day for our fans."