Marc Janko - New challengesIn the 2nd part of Marc Janko’s exclusive Red Bulletin blog, the Austrian international talks about watching new sports, and some of the more unusual responsibilities FC Sydney players have.
I am back in Australia after the qualifying match against Sweden. As many of you may have gathered, none of us are really very happy with the 1-1 draw. Overall I think we deserved to take the three points from the match. We worked harder for it than Sweden, who played very defensively and went looking for the draw. That shows that teams have taken note of our performances of late, and they have a lot more respect for the team and the way we play. A few years ago before Marcel Koller took over we probably would have gone into games against this kind of opponent looking to sit back, perhaps hoping to snatch a lucky goal and be satisfied with a draw. We are starting to show that we can dominate top teams now though, and that is definitely something to build on for the next few matches. I still remain extremely positive about our chances of qualifying, and I am looking forward to the matches in October!
My focus for the next few weeks though is completely on my new club and getting fully fit. The facilities here at Sydney FC are fantastic, and are more than on par with many top clubs in Europe. The club has everything a professional footballer could wish for. There are a few things which I am still adapting to though. The pitches here are a little bit harder, which has taken a bit of time to get used to, and the climate is of course very different. It is much warmer here and the humidity is higher. The UV radiation is also a lot stronger, so I have to make sure I don’t forget my sun cream before heading out onto the pitch, which is another unusual aspect of training.
There have been a few new challenges off the pitch here as well. It is normal in Australia for players to phone membership holders and have a chat with them. It is apparently the same in rugby. Every membership holder also automatically receives a season ticket here, so it is our job as players to get in touch with existing members that haven’t extended their membership yet, and try and convince them to sign up for another season. This is a completely new experience for European players, but it was actually really fun.
I recently went to watch a rugby game, which was a first for me. It was between Qantas Wallabies and New Zealand, two of the best teams in the world, and a game that means a hell of a lot to a lot of people. It is apparently the most important game after the World Cup. It was a draw in the end and it finished without a single try, which was a little disappointing. It was a really intense and passionate game though, so that was fantastic to see. Both teams gave it 110% and cancelled each other out. I have been told that rugby players shouldn’t play more than 19 or 20 games on average a season, anything more and they risk serious injury, if that is true, then I am extremely thankful to be playing football!
I have plenty more stories to tell you, but i’ll save them for next time!
Until then have a great weekend and all the best