Five minutes with: Sydney FC defender Rhyan Grant

Rhyan Grant has a big engine and he is using it to advantage with Sydney FC. It turns out running long distances is second nature to him - he's been doing it for as long as he can remember.

Rhyan Grant

Rhyan Grant, right, in action for Sydney FC against Central Coast Mariners last weekend Source: Getty Images

TWG: You've become well-known for the enormous amount of running you do in games. Just how far do you run?

RG: Andrew Clark, our strength and conditioning coach, gives us read-outs every week from the GPS trackers we wear and I usually average 12 to 13 kilometres a game.

But there are a few others up there around that distance as well. Michael Zullo, Brandon O'Neill and Josh Brillante do a lot of running. One that might surprise people, because he covers the ground so gracefully, is Milos Ninkovic. He's always up near the top.

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He works his backside off to get to the ball or pressure the opposition when they've got it.

TWG: Has endurance always been one of your strengths, going back to when you were a kid?

RG: Yeah, I think it's pretty natural with me. I've always been able to recover quickly and run again.

I did a lot of cross-country running at school, back in the bush, and I handled that pretty well.

TWG: You've been mentioned recently as someone Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou should keep an eye on. What do you think when you read stories like that?

RG: It's always nice to be mentioned, but I think there's always a bit of hype involved with that sort of talk. A lot of players get thrown up.



I think the main thing to do is to keep concentrating on improving your game and if anything happens after that - it's a bonus.

TWG: What do you think about the decision to expand the FIFA World Cup finals to 48 teams from 2026?

RG: I suppose they've got their reasons for doing it, but I think I'd rather they left it as it is.

Expanding it makes it a bit easier to qualify, but I'm not sure if that is the best way to go. It's the World Cup, after all.



TWG: What's the best holiday you've ever been on?

RG: The family used to go to the Gold Coast when I was a kid and that was great. It was a tough slog getting there, because we would drive all the way from Canowindra, but it was worth it once we got there and we hit the beach.

As an adult I've been to Bali a couple of times and I love it there.

TWG: Where do you want to go that you haven't been yet?

RG: That's a tough one. I could say somewhere like Las Vegas, but that would be a bit of a cliche.

A country like India is a place I'm interested in and would like to visit one day. I think the culture shock would be fantastic.

TWG: Who in the world would you most like to meet?

RG: I'd say Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I've got a lot of their music and I've read his book and he's a very interesting guy.

He's a bit out there and I think it would be fantastic to get time to have a chat with him.

TWG: Could you imagine a life without football?

RG: No I couldn't, to be honest. I've been playing since I was very little and it's the only job I've known since I left school, so it would be a huge shock to the system if it was suddenly no longer there for me.

TWG: Finally, if the worst had happened and there was no football, what do you think you would be doing for a living?

RG: If there had never been football I'd like to think I'd be playing another sport professionally. I was pretty good at rugby league and cricket as well at school. I was a wicket-keeper and batsman and a fullback or five-eighth.

I don't know if I would have kicked on to the professional level with either of those sports, but I'd like to think I would've given it a decent shot.


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3 min read
Published 12 January 2017 at 5:29pm
By Greg Prichard