Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant is loving life with the Socceroos and insists the message from coach Graham Arnold hasn’t wavered despite Australia’s first-up loss to Jordan at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™.
Focus has quickly shifted to Friday night’s (AEDT) clash with Palestine, with the Socceroos keen to bounce back swiftly at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
Arnold’s mandate ever since taken the reins of the Socceroos has been about attacking football and self-belief in every match.
And Grant, who played the second half of the 1-0 loss to Jordan in Al Ain, says it’s business as usual in the lead-up to the crunch Palestine encounter.
“Arnie is still very much the same. He’s still very positive and very confident,” Grant told www.socceroos.com.au after the side’s first training session in Dubai.
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“It’s not the result we wanted first game but we’re still very positive and confident coming into the next game that we’ll go out and perform.
“There’s a lot to improve on so were keen to get into that and see how we can improve coming into the Palestine game,” the Sydney FC defender added.
Grant living the dream
Grant has represented Australia at youth international tournaments but his outing against Jordan was his first competitive game for the Socceroos.
The all-action right-back certainly provided a spark when introduced at half-time and is relishing the freedom to get forward at every opportunity in Arnold’s high-intensity, pro-active style.
For the 27-year-old, who plays his club football with Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League, playing at a major international tournament is something he’ll never forget.
“Personally it was a very good experience for me,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve played a couple of friendlies but my first taste of tournament [football] was pretty cool and was something I’ll never forget.
“It was good to be a part of it. The squad we have here is unreal so to be a part of that and then to come onto the pitch and get a bit of game time is pretty cool too.”
Keeping an eye on the Sky Blues
While very much focused on Australia’s AFC Asian Cup campaign, Grant says he has been watching how Sydney FC have been travelling in his absence.
“The boys have done really well, I’m not missed too much by the looks of it,” he said.
“They are doing well and my housemate Aaron Calver scored a beauty of a goal the other day and he was quickly on the text messages to let me know about it.
“It’s good to see the boys still doing well.”
The Sky Blues are in action on Wednesday night as they take on league-leaders Perth Glory at HBF Park.