Sydney FC fullback Michael Zullo is pulling no punches in the Sky Blues’ quest for Asian Champions League (ACL) glory, saying they’re by far the best side in the A-League, and winning the ACL is “100% the clear goal”.
Zullo has been a force to be reckoned with this season, notching eight assists in just 17 games so far – three behind A-League assist-leader Leroy George on 11. He believes Graham Arnold’s preparation has the Sydney squad performing at their peak.
“I think we’re head and shoulders above the rest in Australia and it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to represent our country in Asia, do our club and our country proud,” Zullo said.
“Individually it’s just to keep the form going, play a part in a winning side, that’s the most important thing for me.
“The goal is to win the Champions League, that’s 100% the clear goal and what we are striving to do.
“I feel really good. I think all the hard work we’ve done in preseason and throughout the season leading up to this point has prepared us well.
“I think all the boys are in great shape and ready to perform. It’s been building all season to tomorrow night. We’re really excited to kick it off.”
Sydney have named a very attacking squad for the competition, choosing to leave out experienced defender Jordy Buijs in favour of star attacking trio Milos Ninkovic, Bobo and Adrian Mierzejewski.
The star-studded lineup will have to be at their most potent - while the likes of Anthony Calver and Ben Warland will need to raise their level - to overcome Sydney’s first opponent, K-League side Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday night.
“Asian football is very high quality and they’ve done well in their competition last season to qualify so we’re expecting a tough match but we’re up for the challenge,” Zullo said.
“You just have to be prepared for everything. We’ve done our analysis but they’re new players and teams we don’t play against every week, so this is just very exciting.
“Of course there’s little things we’ll do to get the edge against them but we’ll keep them a secret for now."