Home » An opportunity two months in the making that ‘represents Australian football’

An opportunity two months in the making that ‘represents Australian football’

There was a theme during Patrick Kisnorbo’s press conference as head coach of the A-Leagues All Stars Men’s team: Friday’s showdown with Premier League giants Newcastle United is a rare opportunity for the Isuzu UTE A-League’s best.

The All Stars will go head-to-head with Newcastle at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne as part of a double-header which will also see the Liberty A-League’s best face Women’s Super League (WSL) juggernaut Arsenal.

Former Melbourne City boss Kisnorbo will lead the All Stars Men this week and he is relishing the opportunity.

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“(This week) represents Australian football,” Kisnorbo told reporters, highlighting Ange Postecoglou at Tottenham.

“We’ve got an Australian coach in the Premier League, we’ve got Australian players playing at Arsenal, we’ve got the A-League All Stars.

“All in all, it’s great for Australian football. For us to represent our code especially.”

Kisnorbo – a Premiership and Championship-winning coach with Melbourne City – is back in the dugout after leaving French outfit Troyes in 2023-24.

The former Socceroo is not taking the occasion for granted.

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“It’s a great challenge,” Kisnorbo said. “Opportunities like this don’t come often. There will be some work, but its what we’ve signed up to do. As long as we’ve got our capabilities right and keep our roles and responsibilities simple, I think that’s the main thing.

“I will be training the players; there’s four trainings sessions in three days so they will be working a lot in a short amount of time. It is what it is. We’ll give our best to do the best that we can.

“I’ve probably worked on (the tactics) for the last two months. But I only found out the squad Sunday or Monday. It’s a great challenge. It tests you as a coach, it tests the players, especially against such a great opposition. I think it’s a great occasion.”

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Adam Taggart is in the squad to face Newcastle on the back of a stunning individual season with Perth Glory.

The Socceroo scooped his second Isuzu UTE A-League Golden Boot after scoring 20 goals for the Glory.

“It’s a massive opportunity for all the boys,” Taggart, who previously played for Fulham, said.

“The young boys get to showcase what they’re all about and how they’ve progressed through the league this year, it’s a great honour for them to go up against some of the best.

“Hopefully it can kick them on and give them an opportunity to move overseas in the future as well.”

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Kisnorbo was tight-lipped on his future with a vacancy emerging at Western Sydney Wanderers following Mark Rudan’s departure.

But Kisnorbo was happy to talk about Postecoglou, who he has known since the age of 14 from his South Melbourne days.

“It’s just great the work that he’s doing. It inspires young coaches like myself and a lot of Australians hopefully one day to play or coach in the biggest leagues in the world,” Kisnorbo said.

“I think the last time I spoke to (Ange) was probably a couple of months ago. We kept in touch on a regular basis, which is great. But its more on a personal note, not much about an occasion or football.

“I’m very lucky to have a relationship like that with such a great person, guidance from him is really important.”

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