Words: Michael Flynn | Image; Patrick Leigh Perspectives
Gold Coast City winger Riley Dillon says he can’t wait to test himself against the Chinese Under 22 team in Monday night's friendly clash.
City will line-up against the some of the best young players the ‘Middle Kingdom’ has to offer in the clash at Super Sports Centre in preparation for City’s looming Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Final against South Melbourne.
The China Under 22 team are currently on the Gold Coast as part of an 11-day training camp, with City the only team from outside the Hyundai A-League selected to line-up against their young stars.
City also lined-up Chinese opposition earlier this year in a pair of pre-season fixtures against Super League club Guangzhou R&F.
Dillon said he and his teammates are once more eager to pit their skills against some of Asia’s best young players.
“They will be technically good and very sharp but we are looking forward to giving them a game and hopefully scoring a few goals,” Dillon explained.
“We definitely want to test ourselves against the best. A lot of our guys are about the same age and it will be interesting to see how we compare.”
“So we are definitely taking this game seriously. You always want to win and it would be great to beat a national team.”
With City’s league campaign drawing to a close over a week ago, Dillon said it was important the team maintains their competitive instincts ahead of the much-anticipated clash with South Melbourne.
“It’s going to be great preparation for our FFA Cup game and it will keep us sharp with that game still being a couple of weeks away. Match fitness is going to be important for everyone in the team because South Melbourne are going to come at us.”
A win for City will mark a clean sweep for Australian clubs against the Chinese side on their current tour after Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners both won their matches during the week.
Dillon said it was fitting recognition for the quality of City’s football that they are the only semi-professional team to face-off against the visiting side.
“I think we must have impressed against Guangzhou in pre-season and that was obviously noticed. If they didn’t think we were good quality then they obviously wouldn’t want to play against us.”
“It’s great to get that recognition and, as a club and as a team, I think we deserve it,” he concluded.
Gold Coast City FC v China Under 22
Monday, September 4 | 7:30PM
Super Sports Centre, Runaway Bay