26-time England international and former Premier League star Daniel Sturridge vehemently expressed his goals for the 2021/22 season, his reasons for coming to Australia and his general love for football during his first media conference as an A-League Men marquee.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea superstar is fresh off 19 months of training without playing a professional game and now finds himself in England saying his final goodbyes to family as he prepares to land in Perth ahead of the 2021/22 season.
Despite not having played for such a long amount of time, the Englishmen made it clear that he is fit and raring to go.
“I’m 100%, I have no issues,” declared the dynamic centre-forward.
“I’ve been training with Mallorca for the best part of two months and prior to that I was training in America…once the visa is organised, I can get myself out there with the team.”
Many former marquees in the A-Leagues have been criticised for coming to Australia for the lifestyle, rather than fully committing themselves to play football. However, Sturridge stressed that this will not be a problem for him as he looks to put in 100% for the Glory.
“I’m not there for a holiday, I’m there to play football and perform.
“I had a lot of opportunities and a lot of offers over the last 19 months but I didn’t feel like any of them were the right fit so we made the decision to come to Perth because it felt right,” announced Sturridge.
The 32-year-old English international equally voiced his willingness to interact with the Perth Glory fanbase as he plans to perform his trademark goal celebration at HBF Park.
“The dance goes without saying, that’s gonna be something that I teach them (the fans) and to just bring my personality to the country, I think it’s important for people to see who I am as a person,” he said.
“I’m very fan friendly, I like to integrate with the fans, I like to think I’ve had a good relationships with the fans at every club I’ve played with really and I think that’s important.”
Many footballers who spend extended periods of time away from the game can often quickly lose their love for football. However, the two-time UEFA Champions League winner declared that this could not be further from the truth for his situation.
“This is a game I’ve enjoyed and loved playing since I was in my front garden at home as a 3-year-old…you can never lose the love for the game in my mind,” explained Sturridge.
“Even when I’m old and grey I’ll still be playing keepy-uppys with my grandkids or whatever it may be, this beautiful game will remain with me forever, this is what I was born to do so I don’t believe I could ever fall out of love with the game.
“Even when I’m retired I’ll be involved in some capacity because this game has given me so much and I’ve learned so much from a footballing stand point but as a human being as well.”
Perth Glory’s star marquee striker will look to arrive in Australia in the coming weeks before undergoing 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine as he looks to ensure he reaches optimal fitness levels prior to the commencement of the A-League Men season.
Image Credit: Skysports UK