Sydney 'banana skin' quip fuels Harnwell's hopes

Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold has labelled Wednesday’s FFA Cup clash with Sorrento as a potential ‘banana skin’ and opposition coach Jamie Harnwell is hoping that comes to reality.

The Sky Blues travelled to Perth on Tuesday to take on Western Australian National Premier League club Sorrento at nib Stadium on Wednesday night.

The A-League runners-up are highly fancied for the contest against the Gulls who had gone 10 games unbeaten before Friday’s 2-0 loss to Perth SC.

In a mark of respect, Sydney sent assistant coach Steve Corica west for Friday’s game to scout their opposition, while Arnold urged caution earlier this week too.

“Let’s hope Arnie’s prophecy comes true,” Harnwell told FourFourTwo. “It’d be fantastic to knock them off.

“It shows a nice measure of respect that they’ve gone to the trouble of sending Steve Corica over to watch a game.

“He was there on Friday night which was probably good for us because it was the worst performance we’ve had in the last two months, so not sure what he would have taken away from it.”

Harnwell said his squad had been excited about the contest for weeks, although the loss of skipper Steve McDonald was a blow, after only discovering late he was suspended after accumulating a number of bookings in the earlier rounds.

“It’s been tough to keep focused at times, but the players have done superbly well at that,” Harnwell said.

“We had a 10-game unbeaten run until Friday night, which was probably a nice timely kick in the backside for us to make sure we’re focused again for tomorrow night.”

None of Sydney’s internationals are ready and available for the round of 32 game, although the likes of Shane Smeltz, Alex Brosque and Matt Jurman along with new signing Andrew Hoole and Zac Anderson have travelled to Perth.

“We know they’ve got plenty of quality and can hurt us, but we’ve worked hard in how we’ll contain them and how to break them down as well,” Harnwell added.

Arnold has admitted the game has come early for his squad, as they are only two games into pre-season which may work in Sorrento’s favour.

Meanwhile, Harnwell said he’d moved on from the dramas around his Perth Glory Women exit after being asked to re-apply for the position despite leading them to the premiership.

Harnwell has since been appointed as Adelaide’s Lady Reds W-League coach and said he was excited by the new challenge.

“To get offered another role fairly quickly after leaving Glory Women was very pleasing,” he said.

“It’s nice to know you’re thought of outside of Western Australia as well and regarded by other people for doing some good work.

“It’s going to be a challenge, I’m under no illusions about that but it’ll get me out of my comfort zone and a new environment which is something I’m looking forward to.”

Harnwell will take up his new position in Adelaide in mid-September.