Grant ‘very excited’ to see Socceroos fans again

With over two years without a match on home soil, Socceroos defender Rhyan Grant can not wait to see the Western Sydney Stadium packed with Green and Gold on Thursday night. 

The Socceroos have not been able to play in Australia since October 2019 when the team defeated Nepal 5-0 in Canberra. 

Thursday night's World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia provides the perfect stage for Aussie football fans to reunite with the Socceroos. 

A win against the undefeated Saudis will snatch the top spot in Group B and go a long way to securing a historic fifth consecutive FIFA World Cup.

We're coming home tickets

Grant, who is Sydney FC’s second all-time appearance holder, has had no shortage of friends and family asking him for tickets to the big event. 

“It's obviously great to be back in camp, it's always nice to see all the players and the staff,” Grant said.

“To be back on home soil is great. Obviously, I reside in Australia so it's an easy trip for me here in Parramatta. 

It's been a good couple of years since our last home game so everyone's very excited to have a crowd back. 

“I've got a lot of family friends that want to come but because it's been so long I've also got some people that I haven't heard from for the last couple of years who are reaching out for tickets. 

“The first thing I asked our team manager when I came into camp last night was how many tickets I could get because my phone has been blowing up.

“It will be awesome to have a full crowd not just of my friends and family but of all the Aussie fans cheering us on. 

“It does sound cliche but it's definitely the truth, it does add another leg to us and really pushes us. We can’t wait to play in front of some fans after so long.”

Socceroos Japan
100 lucky Socceroos fans witnessed the last match in Japan.

The side had a small taste of fans being back in a stadium during their last match when 100 lucky Australians witnessed the Socceroos lose 2-1 to Japan at the Saitama Stadium, but Thursday night's match will be a whole different experience. 

After over 200 caps for Sydney FC and multiple Western Sydney derby clashes in Parramatta, Grant is no stranger to playing at the Western Sydney Stadium. 

While the Socceroos have had to navigate some difficult surfaces in the last few months, the 30-year-old expects his side to make the most of playing in a world class stadium. 

“I’ve played on there a number of times and it's always in really good nick,” Grant explained. 

Me and a few of the boys have already had a quick look and it looks unbelievable as expected. 

“I obviously saw the Matildas game and it looked really good then so they've got it in top shape and we're looking forward to it. 

“I think having a good pitch makes a big difference. As you can see from the games that we played away, there can be a bit of trouble when you play on some pitches that we aren't used to or they are a bit foreign to us. 

“Having a home game is super important and playing on a pitch that I feel comfortable with and familiar with is going to make a big difference.”

Rhyan Grant
Rhyan Grant committed to two months on the road with the Socceroos.

Grant has had a whirlwind few months as he sacrificed more than most to represent the Socceroos throughout their campaign. 

The Sydney FC right-back was the only A-League player selected in Graham Arnold's 27-man squad for FIFA World Cup qualifiers against China and Vietnam in September.

He then remained abroad training with Socceroos teammate Martin Boyle at Hibernian F.C. to keep himself fit for last month's window against Oman and Japan. 

Grant said the experience had allowed him to keep his body in peak condition for a busy period with the Socceroos. 

“Personally, it was a great experience for me,” he said. 

I've always been at Sydney and known no different, so for me on a personal level, it was a very cool experience. 

“To sort of challenge myself and see what it's like over there was great. Not only did it help me avoid quarantine back here and give me the opportunity to be involved in the camp afterwards, it gave me a chance to experience something different. 

“I think having that experience where I was away was a breath of fresh air and gave me something to change it up a little bit and get me really keen on the new A-League season and these qualifiers.”


ULTIMATE GUIDE: Everything you need to know ahead of Socceroos v Saudi Arabia

November Squad Announcement