Around the grounds: Le Fondre’s love-hate relationship with Fowler

Helping his side advance to the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 16 is not the only motivating factor for Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre against Brisbane Roar tonight.

The Sky Blues star is relishing the chance to try and get one over Roar’s rookie coach Robbie Fowler.

As a massive Manchester United supporter, Le Fondre has a disdain for anything to do with Merseyside club Liverpool, where Fowler was a goalscoring legend in his playing days.

While he’s a big admirer of Fowler the footballer, Le Fondre will do whatever it takes to make the Roar’s boss’ first game a forgettable one, as the Sky Blues begin their quest for a fourth straight appearance in the FFA Cup final.

“I disliked him [Fowler] because he played for Liverpool and I was a Manchester United fan growing up,” Le Fondre said.

“Growing up as a United fan you learn to hate Liverpool and have that rivalry, but also as a young boy watching him I couldn’t help but love the way he played, he was such a natural finisher, left foot, right foot or header.

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“I always admired him and I tried to model a little bit of my game on him because he was such a good player and I felt I could relate some of his game to mine.

“He’s a massive player in England and for Liverpool, he’s practically a living legend so to come up against his team we have to give our best and take care of business.

“Any chance I can get, being a Manc, to get one over a Scouser is always nice.”

Adam Le Fondre
Adam Le Fondre is desperate to score against Robbie Fowler's Brisbane Roar

Arroyo set to make Jets debut

They will be without three of their most experienced stars but Newcastle Jets will unleash Panamanian striker Abdiel Arroyo in Wednesday night’s FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 clash against Melbourne Victory.

The Jets’ big off-season recruit has been training with the side for just over a week after arriving in Australia last month.

And while the 2018 FIFA World Cup striker isn’t ready to start at AAMI Park, assistant coach Clayton Zane confirmed he would get some game time against Victory.

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"Abdiel [Arroyo] has ten days or so of training under his belt and he's shown some good signs [and] with him, it's understanding the system and the tactics that we're trying to employ,” Zane said.

"I would have thought 20 to 30 minutes maximum off the bench for him, we're all excited to see what he can do against decent opposition.

“But it's so early in pre-season that the demands and the expectations we're going to place on him will be controlled a little."

Zane confirmed skipper Nigel Boogaard, keeper Glen Moss and midfielder Ben Kantarovksi won’t travel to Melbourne with the squad.

New recruits Nick Fitzgerald and Matt Millar are likely to start against Victory.

New Jets recruit Abdiel Arroyo is set to make his debut against Victory tonight
New Jets recruit Abdiel Arroyo is set to make his debut against Victory tonight

Popa: The ‘buzz’ is coming back to Western Sydney

He was the man that helped build the Wanderers’ success and current Perth Glory boss Tony Popovic believes Western Sydney will be big improvers in 2019/20.

Glory host the Wanderers in the FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 clash on Wednesday night in the first competitive match of the campaign for both clubs.

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And while he is determined to knock-off his former club at Dorrien Gardens, Popovic thinks good times can return to ‘Wanderland’ this season.

"They are a big club that needs to be challenging for honours and I think they'll be expecting to have a big year.” Popovic said.

"We saw them against Leeds and they are at their new stadium and it's nice to see the buzz coming back to Western Sydney.

"I'm sure they'll come here tomorrow wanting to get through, just as we do and we expect a real tough encounter."

Tony Popovic hinted Diego Castro could get some game time in tonight's clash with the Wanderers