Rhyan Grant is one game away from experiencing the greatest thrill of his young career.
Grant, 26, a product of Canowindra and one of the Central West’s best soccer graduates, will be a part of Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC line-up for the A-League grand final on Sunday against Melbourne Victory.
For Grant, this season has been a breakout one.
Early in the year he was rewarded with a two-year contract extension at Sydney FC, a couple of months before he was given his first taste of life in the Socceroos’ camp having been picked in Ange Postecoglou’s 23-man side for the World Cup qualifiers in early March.
Victory this Sunday would cap off a remarkable season for Grant and Sydney FC.
The Sky Blues secured their spot on Saturday night, ousting Perth Glory in the preliminary final with a dominant performance which ended up 3-0.
The result was clinched by half-time and on another night, they could have hit the back of the net three or four more times, but settled for a scoreline that perhaps flattered Perth.
Goals were scored by Josh Brillante, Jordy Buijs and Felipe Holonsko.
Arnold labelled the performance as the Sky Blues’ best.
"Yeah look I think we showed that tonight. A little bit disappointed not to get a goal or two [in the] second half. The aim at half-time was to go for the fourth and the fifth. Perth are always the dangerous side," Graham Arnold said.
"Outstanding performance, especially on that pitch. I thought we could have had at least another four goals.”
Growing up in Canowindra, Grant, like most kids, challenged himself at most sports.
A handy wicket-keeper batsman, a decent pivot on the rugby league field and a regular on the podium at athletics and cross-country carnivals, Grant showed his athletic ability from a young age.
These days, as one of Sydney FC’s key players driving their success, Grant, on average, registers roughly 12 to 13 running kilometres throughout each match he plays.
His assignment on Sunday will likely include facing off against Melbourne Victory’s front three of Besart Berisha, Marco Rojas and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
Victory kept Brisbane Roar at bay 1-0 during Sunday’s semi-final, with Berisha knocking in the goal in the 70th minute.
Sydney FC will host Melbourne Victory in the A-League grand final this Sunday at Allianz Stadium from 5pm.