Alex Brosque eyes suburban grounds as way forward for A-League as Sydney FC return to Jubilee Oval, Kogarah for Wellington Phoenix clash

Big blue smiles: Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque with Xavier, 7, and sister Francesca, 6, at Jubilee Oval. Picture: John Veage
Big blue smiles: Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque with Xavier, 7, and sister Francesca, 6, at Jubilee Oval. Picture: John Veage

Alex Brosque believes the use of smaller, boutique stadiums is the way forward for the A-League and should have been pushed at the competition’s inception.

Sydney FC return to Jubilee Oval on Saturday for their second home match of the season in the St George district against Wellington Phoenix.

The clash follows on from the Sky Blues’ loss to Melbourne Victory at Kogarah a fortnight ago. The ‘Big Blue’ attracted a sold out crowd of more than 19,000 fans to Jubilee Oval, with the packed ground creating a pulsating atmosphere.

Sydney FC plan to use Kogarah as a home for the three years of Allianz Stadium’s redevelopment. And captain Brosque told the Leader suburban grounds had plenty to offer. 

“For any club starting in the A-League and just in general, we should have done that at the start instead of teams coming straight into these massive stadiums,” he said.

“We should have started smaller and built up that support. Similar to what we saw at Kogarah. That’s the way to do it, selling out every week and make tickets hard to come by. Build a big fan base that people then want to be part of.

“I think any team coming in now should look at it as an option instead of the alternative which is to get stuck in a space that is too big.

Tough going: Alex Brosque in action against Melbourne Victory at Jubilee Oval. Picture: AAP Image

Tough going: Alex Brosque in action against Melbourne Victory at Jubilee Oval. Picture: AAP Image

“We were excited about it. As the week crept along we heard it was a sell out and that automatically lifts players. It’s a different sort of mindset. 

“And it was an incredible atmosphere. Once you’re out there it does exactly that. There’s nothing like playing in front of a full stadium. The noise, atmosphere, the energy. As a player you can feel it coming from the stands. 

“Losing Allianz is difficult, it means we are playing at a few different stadiums. But the way our club has done it is to go to grounds like this which just creates that great atmosphere which is perfect.”

While their last trip to Jubilee Oval was almost the perfect day off the field, Sydney FC didn’t get the result they were after on it.

The Sky Blues fell to the Victory but bounced back with a 2-1 win over Central Coast at the weekend.

And while some have been critical of Sydney FC’s slow start to the season under new coach Steve Corica, Brosque said the Sky Blues still had plenty of improvement in them. 

“We’ve played six games and only lost once. That’s not bad by any means,” he said.

“A lot of games I think we should have gone on to win by a few more. That ruthlessness is probably what is lacking at the moment.

“When we’re 1-0 up we need to go on and kill the game off. We’ve shown we can come back a few times and get a result and that’s pleasing. But when we’re up we really need to dominate teams and that’s something we’re still looking for.”

Wellington will head to Sydney’s south confident after securing a 1-1 draw with top of the table Perth at the weekend.

And Brosque said there was no chance the Sky Blues would underestimate the Phoenix.

“They pulled out a good result on the weekend, they should have beat Perth if not for the VAR,” Brosque said.

“They are a good team who can beat anyone on their day. Something we don’t do is underestimate anyone. We treat everyone the same. I think that’s the key reason to our success the last few years.

“In particular this season. We didn’t underestimate the Mariners [last Saturday]. They came out firing, they were hungry for their first win and we were still able to get the result we needed.

“We pay every respect possible to our opponents, we won’t underestimate anyone.”

Kick-off is at 5.35pm.

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