Skippering Roos is a dream come true for Sainsbury
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.”