Sydney FC driven to perform
Sydney FC skipper Terry McFlynn said the club's disappointing A-League season is a major driving force towards a successful AFC Champions League campaign.
dney FC skipper Terry McFlynn said the club's disappointing A-League season is a major driving force towards a successful AFC Champions League campaign.
The Sky Blues kick off their ACL group stage with a clash against Korean side Suwon Bluewings at the Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday night.
The ACL campaign comes at the end of a difficult season for Sydney, whose title defence never got off the ground after going the first 10 games of the campaign without a win.
While the Sky Blues recovered in the second half of the season and went unbeaten in the last eight matches, Vitezslav Lavicka's side left their run too late to make the finals just a year after clinching the double.
It was a result that simply wasn't good enough and McFlynn said the squad were desperate to make amends with a strong run in the ACL.
"After the season finished we sat down and talked about it and said 'the A-League's gone, we can't changed what's happened in the past'," the Sydney skipper said on Tuesday.
"This is a new competition and a fresh start for us."
"We had a practice game last week where we were able to work on a few things which was good."
"Coming from training today (Tuesday) it's been three weeks since our last game but the hunger the boys have got, they're itching to play another game and can't wait for this competition to get started."
Sydney face a tough challenge in their opening match against a Bluewings side which boasts four members from South Korea's 2011 Asian Cup squad.
But McFlynn believes the Suwon squad may head into this match underdone with the club yet to play a competitive match in 2011 with the K-League season beginning this weekend.
In contrast, Sydney head into Wednesday's match refreshed after a three-week break since the end of their A-League campaign but still battle-hardened for the group stage.
And McFlynn believes the Bluewings' lack of competitive matches puts his side in the box seat to get off to a winning start on Wednesday night.
"The advantage the A-League teams have over the other Asian countries is we're coming off the back of our season," the Sydney captain said on Tuesday.
"You can look at it one of two ways. You can say it's a disadvantage because we've had tough season or you can say we're match fit and match hardened."
"From our point of view we'd much prefer to be going in with our preparation rather than coming off a pre-season which a lot of the Asian teams have."
"As you saw a couple of years ago, it helped Adelaide who did fantastically well in getting to the final."
"The format of competition has changed since we last played in it. We played Uruwa Red Diamonds, they didn-t beat us over two games and they went on to win it."
"So with two teams going out of groups now, we're very confident going into tomorrow night's game."
Lavicka has no injury concerns ahead of the match and hinted new short-term signings Andrew Durante and exciting attacker David Williams could both start the match.
"They have trained with us and are both ready to go and we are stronger with them in the team," he said.
"We didn't have a good (A-League) season this year but in the last part we improved."
"We picked up results and had more confidence and we're all are ready to be a good representative of Australian club football in Asia."
Lavicka said it was vital his team started with a win in front of their home fans if they harboured serious hopes of progressing into the knockout stages of the tournament.
"It's very important of course. We have to start successfully but we have to be careful also because the opposition have a very strong side," Lavicka said.
"They have probably the same desire as us."
"We can expect an open game and attacking play because they (Suwon) like to play a quick, mobile and direct style and we're at home so we would like to play similar."
"We have respect for them but we also have a desire because this is a great challenge and opportunity to show our quality against a team like Suwon."