After making his debut for Sydney FC back on December 21, 2008, Bathurst football junior Rhyan Grant is set to become the first Sky Blues player to mark 10 years with the iconic A-League club.
Grant, a former Churches United and Bathurst '75 player, signed for the club as a 17-year-old, three months prior to making his debut.
Since then he has gone on to play 177 games for Sydney FC in all competitions, as well as playing one game for Australia against Lebanon last month.
And on the eve of his 10th anniversary with the club, he’s been rewarded with a call-up to the Australian camp for next month’s AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
He said it’s been a privilege to have played one game for the club, let alone another 176.
“As a young fella, you’re just happy to play one professional game or to get one contract at a professional club,” he said.
“To have had 10 years at such a big club as Sydney FC, it’s pretty cool and something to be pretty proud of.”
Grant picked up his first silverware in the 2009-10, winning both the A-League premiership and championship, becoming a regular face for the Sky Blues.
Playing for the A-League All-Stars team against Manchester United, his 2013-14 campaign was curtailed due to a knee injury.
A sublime return from injury saw Grant become an ever present in the Sydney FC squad, becoming an important member of the Sky Blue's record breaking 2016-17 squad that lost just one game.
The Canowindra native scored the equaliser in 2017 A-League Grand Final, as his side went to win the decider after a penalty shoot-out, meaning he claimed his second premiership and championship for the club.
He noted his goal in the 2017 decider the biggest highlight of his career at the Sky Blues.
“There’s been plenty of highlights, but that second grand final I played in I was lucky enough to score by being in the right place at the right time. That was pretty cool,” he said.
“The moment was huge, being the equaliser. The atmosphere after scoring that goal is something I’ll never forget. It was pumping in there, goosebumps kind of stuff. That was probably the biggest highlight.”
His goal in the grand final was just one of nine career goals, his first senior goal for the Sky Blues coming against the Central Coast Mariners in a 1-1 draw during the 2010-11 A-League season.
Another knee injury meant he missed all of the 2017-18 campaign, but Grant returned to action in the 2018-19, bringing up his 150th appearance in November.
His opposition on Friday night is none other than Perth Glory, the same team he made his debut against 10 years to the day.
“Yeah, it’s funny how things pan out, ten years to the day against the same opponent,” he said.
“It’s a pretty cool coincidence. It’s a pity we have to go all the way to Perth for it, but at the end of the day it’s just another soccer game.”
Friday night’s game between Sydney FC and Perth Glory will kick-off at 9pm, Australian Eastern Standard Time, the game starting at 6pm local time and being played at Perth’s nib Stadium.
Sydney FC currently sit in third position on the A-League ladder, four points behind defending champions Melbourne Victory, in second, and six points behind the undefeated Perth Glory, in first.