A-LEAGUE ALL-STARS v MANCHESTER UNITED FRIENDLY
If Warilla junior Pedj Bojic is shadowing Robin van Persie or Ryan Giggs in the final moments of injury time tonight, it’s unlikely to be by chance.
Bojic admits the thought of swapping playing shirts with one of the world’s biggest superstars has already crossed his mind during this week’s A-League All-Stars camp.
Only three months ago, Bojic experienced what he considered to be the biggest thrill of his career, when he played in Central Coast’s grand final victory over first-year club Western Sydney Wanderers.
So the 29-year-old was stunned when he was selected for the A-League line-up to take on the might of English Premier League champions Manchester United.
Tonight he will march out on to ANZ Stadium knowing he could be trying to shut down a legend of the game in Giggs, depending on new Red Devils manager David Moyes’ tactical decisions.
‘‘It’s a pretty cool thought,’’ he said.
‘‘Once United landed in Sydney, it started to hit me, I’ve been pinching myself a bit this week.
‘‘This is an opportunity you just never think would be possible, so I’m just going to try and enjoy it as much as I can.’’
Bojic laughs when asked about making sure he is in close range of van Persie or Giggs when the final whistle blows, in a bid to beat his A-League teammates to the prized keepsake.
‘‘You’d take whoever you could get,’’ Bojic said.
‘‘But sure, if I happen to be close to Giggs, or van Persie or Ferdinand, I won’t waste any time asking them to swap shirts.
‘‘There might be two or three of us marking them at the end.’’
Jokes aside, Bojic is confident the A-League line-up has what it takes to match it with United, who last season won their 20th English league title.
Moyes, who took over from the retiring Sir Alex Ferguson, lost his first game in charge, to Thailand’s Singha All-Stars 1-0, before arriving in Australia. Bojic said the result has added to the A-League team’s belief.
‘‘Exactly, seeing that result has only increased the confidence we can beat Manchester United,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s going to be a tough game, everyone knows the talent in their squad.
‘‘But it’s also a chance for us to showcase what the A-League has to offer and how far the game in this country has come.
‘‘I can guarantee you we are taking this game very seriously.’’
Bojic played with Warilla and the Wolves until the age of 14, before joining the NSW Institute of Sport and then Parramatta Power.
After finishing in a blaze of glory, the right back left the Mariners to sign with Sydney FC, to be closer to home, where he runs a personal training business and has started a clothing line under the label ‘‘AList’’.
Bojic is confident that playing alongside Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero at the Sky Blues will continue his run of success.
‘‘I’m loving it at the moment, being close to home in Sydney,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a fresh start and it’s been amazing for me.
‘‘They are the biggest club in the league and everyone is intent on getting up there and winning things.
‘‘We saw what Frank [Farina] managed to do after coming in last season and now there is a new Sydney squad and some changed attitudes.
‘‘Hopefully the United game will be just the start of another big season for me.’’
Saturday, July 20
ANZ Stadium, 7.30pm
Live on Prime TV