“Being based in Sydney will remove the biggest challenge we face, which is the travel”.
That’s Jacob Tratt’s take on how Glory will fare when they head east to complete the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 campaign in the New South Wales hub.
Having lost only three of their last 24 away games, Tony Popovic’s men have clearly found an effective method of dealing with their travel challenges and 25-year-old Tratt is confident that they can continue that impressive form during the run-in to the end of the regular season and beyond.
“I think the way we prepare for away games is really good and will make it easy to approach the games in the hub,” he said.
“The lack of travel in between games will help us a lot.
“Being based in Sydney will remove the biggest challenge, which is the travel.
“The recovery periods will be longer and we’ll be able to back-up a lot easier as a result of that.
“It’ll help us prepare for the final week in the finals because you’re obviously playing a game every three or four days then.
“It’ll be important to get into a nice groove and just build from that.”
In terms of how the restart will unfold on the pitch, the rangy defender admitted that he is not entirely sure what to expect.
“It’s going to be different in terms of preparing for games because we won’t have been able to watch teams playing the week before or anything like that,” he said.
“So it will sort of be a clean slate.
“You’ll still have the players that we’ve seen play before and I’m sure nothing will have changed too much in that aspect, but maybe the structures and the way they are playing might be a little bit different.
“We’ll just have to adjust and prepare the best we can.
“Because there’s been such a big break, it’ll be a testament to the character of the players as to whether they’ve made the most of this time off or let themselves go a little bit.
“I think in that aspect, it’s kind of a clean slate and whoever’s prepared best will come out on top.”
At a personal level, meanwhile, the former Sydney FC man is thankful that health-wise, WA has thus far been spared the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“For us, it actually hasn’t been too bad,” he said.
“Our borders have been quite good and we’ve actually been able to get outside and keep training, so in that aspect, I guess we’ve been very lucky.
“I obviously didn’t travel back to New South Wales and have to quarantine.
“So it hasn’t been too tough for me, I’ve been able to go about my business each day, train and prepare for the season restart.
“During the quarantine time, you realise how much you miss football, how much you miss being in an about training and playing on a regular basis.
“I’m really looking forward to it.”
And the hugely-likeable New South Welshman is also looking forward to taking care of some very important personal business as and when circumstances allow.
“Myself and my fiancee were looking for wedding venues, but we’ve had to postpone twice,” he said.
“Hopefully we can set a date soon and get married at some point!”