Wayne O’Sullivan discusses the difference in football between China and Australia.
‘Sully-s Say- this week comes to you from downtown Beijing prior to our next game in the 2014 AFC Champions League.
The temperature mid-afternoon on the team walk was a cool 7 degrees, which is just one of many differences here to what we know back home.
From a football perspective Australia and China is a world apart.
The interest level here in this competition is huge and that is evident the minute we step onto the training field surrounded by the local media. At training on Tuesday there were between 30 and 40 cameras and journalists all intrigued by our side.
Football in China is regarded as the number one sport and the players are treated as super stars. Obviously with this level of interest comes huge expectation from the fans and the media, especially for a club like Beijing.
All this reminds me of how far our club and our own game has come in the short history of the A-League.
The mere fact that we can now be competitive at this level shows the progress that our own players have made, but the gulf in resources and infrastructure is clear.
Wednesday-s game will be another huge challenge for our players against a team which spends our entire budget on the individual contract of one star player, but provides us again with another great opportunity to continue to spread the awareness of our small club and hopefully continue to earn respect throughout Asia.
Straight after Wednesday-s match we travel straight to Melbourne from Beijing to the more familiar territory of the A-League. On Sunday we face another tough test against Melbourne Heart prior to retuning to the Coast the following week to host our rivals Western Sydney Wanderers.
We look forward to seeing you all soon.