There’s always an extra level of excitement around an opening round match, when questions you’ve been asking yourself for weeks are answered and the team you love is finally back out on the park.
Fans will be on the edge of their seats, waiting to find out if Sykes and Michelle Heyman pick up where they left off, if the back line can hold off potential attack, if the newcomers slot in seamlessly and if the returning players come back bigger and better than before.
Six weeks of pre-season and with the taste of finals last season leaving a bittersweet taste in their mouths, the team is raring to go.
Known for their last-minute wins in 2020/21, including in their last encounter against Melbourne City, United will look to get goals in early. On paper, that shouldn’t be too difficult, with Heyman, Sykes, Grace Maher and Allira Toby holding an impressive amount of attacking power between them.
Melbourne City will be heading to Canberra with their own motivations for success though, and with good reason.
Friday night will mark the first professional game of football that Rebekah Stott has played in 348 days; 294 days since she was diagnosed with blood cancer and 135 days since she went into remission.
An incredible moment for Stott and Australian football community.
Kick-off is 7.45pm at Viking Park. Tickets can be purchased, here.
MATCH DETAILS |
Canberra United v Melbourne City
Viking Park, Wanniassa