Two of the biggest stories in Australian football this off season were Daniel Sturridge unexpectedly signing for Perth Glory, and football’s re-brand, bringing the Youth, Women’s and Men’s leagues all under one A-Leagues umbrella.
The A-League Men’s season kicks off today for Perth Glory as they host Adelaide United at home in front of what is expected to be a bumper crowd.
While Glory manager Richie Garcia has kept his cards very close to his chest in the lead up to his sides season opener, he has revealed news that every Perth Glory fan and football fan across the country will be delighted to hear; Daniel Sturridge will feature.
While plenty of fans and pundits have speculated on just what sort of quality Sturridge will bring to Perth Glory, he has insisted that he is here to play and is not in Australia for a holiday.
It’s not just fans in Australia who will be eager to see how Sturridge performs, with fans back home in England eagerly awaiting their opportunity to see the former Liverpool and English international back on the pitch after such a long absence.
And Sturridge is determined not to disappoint, stating that he wants to help bring the spotlight on the A-Leagues and help put the leagues in a positive light, by playing exciting and enjoyable football for the fans.
“I think it’s important for us all to just put our best foot forward and to try and put the leagues in a positive light, all of the leagues,” Sturridge said in his first press conference after signing for the Glory.
We want the fans to enjoy watching and for it to be exciting, so I think it’s all for us, it’s all down to the players in all of the leagues.
As I said from the Youth to the Women’s league and the Men’s league, it’s all about us all putting our best foot forward and trying to put the league in a positive light around the world so that we can get as many fans watching and for people to be excited about watching games as well.”
While Daniel Sturridge has had a storied career, featuring in the Premier League for over a decade, as well as in a World Cup with England, Australia is set to be a very unique experience for the 32 year-old striker.
While there are many ways Australian football and the A-Leagues are unique to the rest of the world, one of the most recent and most important ways is the step towards equality that the APL took in the recent re-branding of the Men’s, Women’s and Youth leagues simply as “A-Leagues”.
While the news of the re-brand has had a positive impact on Australian football so far, as someone new to Australian football, Daniel Sturridge has spoken on this monumental moment in Australian sports, expressing how much of an exciting time it is for players in all competitions.
“It’s in our hands as the players, I’m looking forward to playing in the men’s league of course and I’m sure the Women’s league are excited as well with the re-brand and the new format for them and how they plan on going about their season.”
“The same goes for the Youth, I think everybody is probably on the same page, in that it’s an exciting time for everyone and I’m sure I can speak for them as well in saying that they’re excited just as much as I am.”
It’s very much the dawn of a new era in Australian sports, as the football season starts to resume, and there is one thing that can be guaranteed, there are certainly exciting times ahead.
“I’m not too sure to be honest about whether the same name is right or wrong.
“I just think it’s about the enjoyment of the football, from the Youth to the Women’s league and the Men’s league.”
“I think it’s important for us all to just put our best foot forward and to try and put the leagues in a positive light, all of the leagues.
Image Source: Perth Glory