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  • Writer's pictureIan Pulczynski

"It's excitement rather than fear" - Sydney Olympic defender Michael Glassock relishing cup tie

Sydney Olympic will square off against Sydney FC for the first time tonight, aiming to knock the five-time A-League Men champions out of the FFA Cup.

Sydney Olympic are ready to face off against Sydney FC tonight in the FFA Cup. Source: Michael Glassock Twitter

One man looking to stop Sydney FC's renowned attacking threat is Olympic defender Michael Glassock.

Front Page Football caught up with Glassock in an exclusive interview about his footballing background, time aboard, and the upcoming clash.

Glassock is a proud Coastie, growing up in Bateau Bay and playing junior football with local clubs such as Killarney District and The Entrance Bateau Bay.

He joined the Central Coast Mariners youth program in 2010.

Michael Glassock playing for Central Coast Mariners Academy in NPL2. Source: CC Mariners

Glassock grew up watching the Mariners.

As an avid fan, he looked up to senior players for motivation, hoping to wear the yellow and navy colours one day.

"Growing up, I was a massive supporter of Patrick Zwaanswijk," Glassock said.

"I wanted to model my game [on] how he played, how he was able to find pockets of space with the ball. I was also a fan of André Gumprecht and John Hutchinson."

Glassock was just 17 when he represented the Mariners academy, playing in the NSW NPL2 competition.

He wasn't fazed when competing against physical and experienced players such as former Socceroo Michael Beauchamp.

"I relished the opportunity when I stepped up into the senior program," he said.

"I didn't look back playing against senior men. I didn't feel like the step was massive compared to what other people feel. The early exposure to playing against senior men helped me develop my skills and develop myself as an individual."

In July 2019, Glossock signed a contract with Hong Kong Premier League side Pegasus FC.

"I was in the Mariners youth system for about two-and-a-half years and played every NYL and NPL match," Glassock said.

"A guy in Hong Kong with who I had an association with asked if I was interested in exploring a new opportunity.

In July 2019, Glossack moved to Hong Kong Premier League side Pegasus FC. Source: SBS News Australia

"I turned him back at first because I was adamant that I always wanted to represent my boyhood club.

"I thought later on that maybe this is an opportunity to try something new. Looking back on it, it was probably one of the best things I've ever done and was a great learning curve."

In Hong Kong, Glassock played 20 games for Pegasus, scoring twice and squaring off against Hong Kong Premier League giants Kitchee FC and Eastern.

Glassock's time in Hong Kong was cut short due to the pandemic, and he left Pegasus FC on April 8 2020.

When he returned to Australia, after a few months of personal training, Glassock received a phone call from Sydney Olympic manager Ante Juric.

"I was training by myself when I returned [from Hong Kong], and then I got a call from Ante Juric," he said.

Ante Juric is the current manager of Sydney Olympic. Source: Border Chronicle

"I had an initial conversation with Sydney Olympic before I went to Hong Kong, so I knew John Boulous, the CEO.

"He gave me an understanding of the club, the history, and what they've been able to [do].

"Coming back to the NPL, it might look like a step back, but I'm confident and hopeful it's one step back and two steps forward.

"It's been a positive move for me so far. I played in every game last season, and I felt welcome straight away when I joined."

Sydney Olympic finished 5th on the 2021 NSW NPL season, which was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Source: Football NSW

Glassock highlighted that the team is fit and highly motivated for their huge cup tie tonight.

"I feel like I'm probably in the best condition I've ever been in, in terms of my fitness; mentally and physically, I feel really good," he said.

"During the pandemic, it was tough with no training and no football, but I connected with two sprint coaches, and they went through my paces straight away.

"The team has been fantastic coming back from lockdown. I was surprised about how fit everyone was coming back.

"We know we are up against it, against Sydney FC, who have been training for a couple of months now, but we're in good condition. I think we're ready to go.

Sydney FC won the FFA Cup in 2017. Source: FFA Cup

"Leading up to the game, I'm beginning to truly see what a massive club Sydney Olympic is.

"There are so many supporters that have bought tickets to this upcoming game, giving us added motivation.

"The spirit in the dressing room is excitement rather than fear. We've got nothing to lose."

A key signing for Sydney Olympic in the off-season was recruiting former A-League Men star Roy O'Donovan.

Glassock believes the 36-year old still has something to prove.

"Roy has been really good; you can still see his hunger and desire at training sessions," Glassock said.

O'Donovan signed with Sydney Olympic in October 2021. Source: FFA Cup

"He has added a lot to the playing group. Roy's experience is so valuable to the players.

"I think he still wants to prove to some people what he can do. We're all excited to see him wear Olympic colours tonight."

Olympic takes on Sydney FC tonight at Belmore Sports Ground at 7:30pm AEDT, with the match being broadcast live on 10Play.


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