realise that we’ve got fans across the world and we’re keen to meet them, especially those as far afield as Australia.
What kind of challenge will the All Stars pose?
The main thing about pre-season is working on your fitness. I’m sure there will be some big names in the All Stars team and we’ll be prepared for that. Hopefully it’ll be an entertaining game and there will be a lot of quality on show.
Do you get chance to see any A-League football in the UK?
Yes we see a bit. Obviously we’ve seen players from the Premier League go over there like Robbie Fowler and Emile Heskey and, of course, the one player that everyone knows about, Alessandro Del Piero, who I’ve had the pleasure of playing against on a number of occasions and he is one of my favourite all-time players. To see him go there and make the impact he has is great.
Can you see yourself playing in Australia one day?
[Smiles] I don’t know. I’m enjoying my football at United more than ever so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Can Australian fans expect to see the likes of Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie on the tour?
Yes I think so. The manager always tries to take as strong a squad as he can on tour. It’s sometimes difficult if there is a World Cup or the European Championships happening because players will get time off afterwards depending on how far they progress in the tournament. But there isn’t a big tournament next year so I expect all the big players to be there, including the likes of Robin and Wayne, which I’m sure will be a real thrill for the fans.
Finally, if someone had said to you in 1999 that 13 years later you’d still be wearing the red shirt what would your reaction have been?
I’d have said ‘no chance!’ [Laughs]