It will be a family affair for Western Sydney Wanderers fullback Josh Risdon when he travels west to face his old side Perth Glory in round one of the Hyundai A-League.
Having moved from his hometown club to the Wanderers last year, Risdon will return to the place it all began on Sunday 21 October seeking a positive start to the season.
Speaking from Caltex Socceroos camp in Dubai, Risdon said he was looking forward to taking a stroll down memory lane and hinted at some extra moral support amongst the vast sea of purple at nib Stadium.
“They’ll [family] always stay with me,” Risdon said.
“A few of the family are Western Sydney fans now but it will be good to see them, I haven’t been back to Perth for a while now.
“There will be a big bus load coming up from Bunbury and it will be good to see the family that weekend. Hopefully we can get the win and start the season off really well.”
While excited to be returning home, Risdon stressed the importance of getting off to a good start after a long pre-season.
“It’s back to business now after a long pre-season,” he said.
“It’s getting closer and closer and everyone is hanging out for that round one, being such a long pre-season.”
Adding further intrigue to the opening fixture is the return of former Wanderers boss Tony Popovic to the Hyundai A-League.
Having been handed the reins at Glory in May, Popovic will begin his second managerial stint in the Hyundai A-League against the club he helped build from nothing.
Risdon admitted that it would be an emotional occasion for some involved, but said the goal ultimately remains the same.
“Drawing Perth first round, against the old team and against [Tony] Popovic as well so it will be big for both clubs,” he said.
“I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can get off to a good start.”
Meanwhile, fellow Hyundai A-League player Thomas Deng has spoken of his excitement at being named in Graham Arnold’s Caltex Socceroos squad for the first time.
The 21-year old defender revealed some sage words of advice from his coach Kevin Muscat and Melbourne Victory teammates James Troisi and Carl Valeri.
“They wished me well,” Deng said.
“They congratulated me for being called up for my first camp, the main thing they said was to enjoy it and train hard.”