Mark Bosnich believes this week’s visit from his former club Manchester United is “very significant” as football continues to flourish in Australia.
The ex-goalkeeper, now a TV pundit, feels United’s trip to his homeland is particularly well timed with sport uppermost in the national consciousness after recent major events in rugby league and rugby union, and The Ashes cricket series now underway in England.
“It’s very significant for Australian soccer that United have come over here in a massive sporting month,” Bosnich told MUTV's Inside The Tour programme.
“The Ashes is going on at the moment, we had the State of Origin rugby league final on Wednesday night [which some United players attended] and before that the British & Irish Lions rugby union team was here, which I won't talk too much about!"
The British & Irish Lions’ series win over Australia was sealed convincingly at the same venue where the Reds will play on Saturday – the ANZ Stadium in Sydney - and Bosnich is looking forward to another big occasion this weekend, even if the A-League All Stars will be missing their biggest name.
“Sydney FC's acquisition of Alessandro Del Piero last year was marvellous and it took the league into the mainstream,” stated Bosnich.
“[Although Del Piero isn’t playing], I think that new level will be reflected in the All-Stars’ game against United. It might be a friendly, but for me it’s very, very important we'll see the quality of the players that are on show in the A-League.”
As the only Australian to have ever played for United, Bosnich might have divided loyalties at kick-off on Saturday evening (19:30 local). But in the meantime, he’s just enjoying the chance to reminisce about his two stints at Old Trafford and catch up with the old team-mates who are travelling with the Reds - the likes of Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke, Bryan Robson, Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville.