Skip­per­ing Roos is a dream come true for Sains­bury

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - SPORT - TOM SMITHIES

IN his 34th ap­pear­ance for his coun­try he be­came Aus­tralia’s 59th cap­tain, but Trent Sains­bury had fo­cus only for how his team had played as the Soc­ceroos’ World Cup count­down took a ma­jor step for­ward.

Made skip­per in Mile Je­d­i­nak’s ab­sence, Sains­bury was well aware of the hon­our in car­ry­ing the arm­band as his side put four unan­swered goals past the Czech Re­pub­lic in their penul­ti­mate preRus­sia friendly on Fri­day night.

The re­sult could have been dif­fer­ent had the Czechs had taken some early chances as the Aus­tralian rear­guard got to grips with a new de­fen­sive struc­ture un­der coach Bert van Mar­wijk.

But Sains­bury — in tan­dem at the heart of de­fence with Mark Mil­li­gan — came to the res­cue sev­eral times.

“We took a step for­ward, that’s for sure, but there were a few is­sues we have to ad­just to,” he said. “We’ll look at it on the video and put the an­swers into prac­tice on the pitch. But it was a good per­for­mance and the clean sheet was nice.

“There were some teething prob­lems at first but we started com­mu­ni­cat­ing bet­ter and slowly we started to gain more con­trol in that de­fen­sive back third.

“Then we got a lit­tle bit more courage on the ball and started play­ing our foot­ball. To get the clean sheet and four goals, it’s al­ways nice, but at the end of the day it’s a friendly and we’re look­ing for­ward to the next one.

“It’s nice to wear the arm­band and have the hon­our of cap­tain­ing your coun­try,” he said. “To do it in a 4-0 re­sult put the cherry on top.

“It’s a nice lit­tle con­fi­dence boost, to have the ap­proval of Bert him­self. It’s a mas­sive hon­our, some­thing you dream about as a kid, and I got to tick it off the bucket list.”

Trent Sains­bury.

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