We caught up with Sydney FC star Rhyan Grant, fresh from his time away with the Socceroos at the AFC Asian Cup in the UAE, to get his advice for preparing for a big tournament game, and how he prepared for the Socceroos compared to Sydney FC.
What’re your tips for preparing for a big tournament game?
You have to play well on the day but a lot of it is in the preparation. If you do everything right in the earlier days in the week and a couple of days before the game you should be ready to go and the rest will look after itself. Other than that, try and stay relaxed and make sure you’re in the right frame physically and mentally. My biggest tip would be stay relaxed and enjoy it because if you’re enjoying your football you’re going to play well.
What advice would you offer to any budding right backs?
I like to attack a lot but first and foremost as a right back you’ve got to make sure if you’re getting forward you’re also getting back and make sure you do your duties defensively. That’s your position, defence, that’s what expected of you so make sure you’re ready to defend.
My biggest tip would be stay relaxed and enjoy it because if you’re enjoying your football you’re going to play well
How different was your approach with the Socceroos compared to Sydney FC?
Not a whole lot too different to be honest. With the Socceroos you’re in camp though, so everything is sort of provided for you so you have the best of everything which makes it a little bit easier rather than cooking for yourself, but when it comes to superstitions and that nothing was too different. It was a relaxed approach, making sure I was ready for game day and going from there. Every coach has different things that they do leading up to games, but in the Socceroos it wasn’t too different to what we had at Sydney FC. Everything was very similar.
Did you change your pre-match preparations for the Socceroos at all?
Not really, you know there’s a little bit more pressure on you, it’s either do or die when it comes to tournament football so you have that in the back of your mind, but you want to approach every game similar and try and be as relaxed as you can, don’t think about the game too much beforehand because that’s when you start to stress yourself out so it’s just about staying relaxed and knowing what you have to do so when the games come it’s all ready for you to go.
Catch Rhyan Grant and all your Sky Blue stars in action at our new home, Leichhardt Oval, on Sunday 17 February (kick off 5pm). Bring Mum and Dad and enjoy Maccas ‘Families on the Field’ post match – don’t forget to bring your football!