Sydney FC’s international brand will be reinforced in Japan with Alessandro Del Piero to lead the Sky Blues in a friendly against J-League side Sagan Tosu in Tosu City on 24 July 2013.
After a season of global headlines following the arrival and performances of the Italian World Cup winner, the Sky Blues will play the friendly in Japan to kick off the pre season playing schedule.
Sydney FC will depart for Japan on 22 July after starting pre season training on 19 June.
The match will be Sydney FC’s fourth trip to Japan having played matches in Tokyo and Nagoya at the 2005 FIFA Club World Championships, as well as AFC Champions League matches against Urawa Red Diamonds (2007) and Kashima Antlers (2011).
Sydney FC already has strong support amongst the fanatical Japanese football fans following Kazuyoshi “Kazu” Miura’s stint with the Sky Blues in 2005 and the appearance of Del Piero, who also enjoys a widespread following in Japan, will further increase its popularity.
“Sydney FC has enjoyed a significant increase in exposure across Europe since Alessandro Del Piero joined the club and this allows us to increase our brand awareness in one of the critical markets of Asia,” said Sydney FC CEO Tony Pignata.
“The game against Sagan Tosu will give us the opportunity to further increase our presence in Asia as well as give Frank Farina and the team a good hit out as we look forward to the 2013/14 season.”
NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, said: “Sydney FC’s friendly against J-League side Sagan Tosu will not only be a great match for sports fans, but a terrific promotion for the Harbour City.”
“Sydney FC will showcase Sydney and NSW to a worldwide audience by promoting Sydney.com on their playing strip.”
NSW Minister for Sport, Graham Annesley, said “Sydney FC will play a great game against Sagan Tosu and I look forward to seeing Alessandro Del Piero playing with Sydney FC in Tosu City.”
The match is also a vital part of coach Frank Farina’s pre-season schedule leading into the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League.
“This will be a great opportunity for us to test ourselves against J-League opposition and also allows us to get together as a group as we move towards the start of next season,” Farina said. “We are planning a tough pre-season with a lot of matches so we can hit the ground running when the (20-13/14) season starts.”