Perth Glory have ramped up preparations on the Optus Stadium surface ahead of Sunday’s A-League grand final against Sydney FC at the venue.
Glory trained on the Optus Stadium surface on Wednesday, four days out from the game.
The setting is vastly different from the norm for Perth, who will play their biggest ever match – a first ever home grand final – away from their spiritual home at the rectangular HBF Park.
It will be just their second appearance at the two-year-old venue having faced Premier League giants Chelsea there in a preseason friendly last July.
But while Perth will lose the compactness of HBF Park, Optus Stadium promises to be rocking and mostly partisan with news some 45,000 tickets have already been sold four days out from the match.
Left-back Jason Davidson is buzzing for the challenge of sending a packed house home smiling about what would be Perth’s first ever A-League championship.
“We’ve got a training session there today (Wednesday) to make sure all the boys get a feel of the surface, get acclimatised to the surroundings for Sunday,” Davidson said.
“But I think as footballers, we’re used to travelling around, and we have preparation in place of how the boss wants to make sure we prepare for the week.
“Then we just need to make sure we’re prepared on Sunday to turn up.
“I think it would have been nice to have the final at HBF Park, but saying that, I think 60,000 fans behind us, home soil in Perth, it will be something special.
“I think we can use that to our advantage and hopefully give them something to celebrate after the game.”
Perth’s active supporters have bought in too, and as a result The Shed’s home end has been doubled in size from two bays to four.
Despite the oval shape, The Far Post Perth co-host Blayne Treadgold is confident Optus Stadium will play host to a raucous grand final atmosphere.
“From an atmosphere point of view and a home end point of view, we started off with two bays of active Shed area,” he said.
‘They’ve since increased that to four pays so it demands people to get up and active and support the boys, it’s phenomenal.
“It’s looking like a big crowd and a noisy crowd at that … in terms of the acoustics, it’s a very, very good stadium for that.
“The bottom level is slightly raised off the pitch – I think about a metre and a half – so you’ve got a good viewing angle from just about every seat in the house for an oval stadium.”
Treadgold added that he was confident security and policing of the match would be more welcoming of football fans after a number of supporters left the venue for what they perceived as overzealousness versus Chelsea.