Ryan Giggs is the only survivor from the squad which last toured Australia back in 1999. Here, the United veteran reflects on that trip and looks ahead to next summer’s tour game in Sydney…
The club have announced a tour match against the Australian A-League All Stars next July – how much are you looking forward to visiting your fans in Australia?
It’ll be great. I was fortunate to go on tour there before [in 1999] and I have fond memories of the trip and the fans were great. It was my first visit to Australia so that was a thrill for me and I know all the team enjoyed it and I’ve been telling the lads how much fun they’ll have next year.
What kind of things have you been telling them?
Just about the fans really. We never get surprised by how many fans we have and for us there is no further place than Australia, but I’ve told them that the fans will be just as fanatical. Obviously people in Australia love their sport anyway, and both on and off the pitch our last trip there was brilliant.
What are your memories from the ’99 tour and the games against the Socceroos?
They’re all good memories. Meeting our fans over there was great. We stayed in Melbourne for our first game and had a great time there. Playing at MCG was a thrill for me as a cricket fan and then we played at Stadium Australia in Sydney which was fantastic. They were both great stadiums and great atmospheres.
Many fans will be fulfilling a lifelong dream by watching the Reds in action next summer…
Yes, it’s great. We know we’ve got a lot of supporters over there who probably spend a lot of the time getting up in the middle of night to watch our games, but to actually see the lads train and play will be great for them. It’ll be brilliant for the players as well because we realise that we’ve got fans across the world and we’re keen to meet them, especially those as far afield as Australia.