HANWOOD FC coach Anthony Agresta is under no illusions what awaits his side in tomorrow afternoon's pre-season friendly with reigning NSW Premier League champions Marconi.
One of the best teams in Australia outside the A-League, Marconi arrived today ahead of the Australia Day clash with the local powerhouse.
Coach Jean-Paul de Marigny confirmed his entire senior squad is available to play aside from injured defenders Wade Oostendorp and Ali Haydar, warning Hanwood the team chosen will give a "full account of themselves."
"We're coming down for a purpose, for a reason. We're not coming down for the sake of it," he said.
"There's a few things we're working on so the boys will be upbeat and will play at a decent tempo. Whatever comes out of that, I don't know."
Not that the scoreline bothers Agresta, who said the weekend was about learning from the best team in the state, not who won the match itself.
"We played Manly United last year and got flogged, but it doesn't matter," he said.
"It's more about the experience. It's a learning curve for the boys.
"It's not often out here that we get to see teams like Marconi up close, and this is a great chance for our players to see that level of team right in front of them and understand what it takes to get there."
Marconi and Hanwood have only held a handful of training sessions each ahead of the pre-season clash, but both have reasons galore to be up for it. The Stallions at least have some match practice in the tank after taking on Parramatta FC in a friendly on Tuesday.
"Our first-graders only played 45 minutes and we were 1-0 down after n Continued Page 29 giving away a cheap goal. But we looked OK, we're in decent shape physically," de Marigny said.
"It's an exercise, it's good for our preparation to come to Griffith and it's healthy for the relationship between the clubs.
Apart from club stalwarts Jason Bertacco and Joey Schirripa, Hanwood will field a side dominated by youngsters in the match, which will be played in three 30-minute periods.
"It'll be a great experience for the young boys from Hanwood who we choose to put on our shirt and play with us towards the end of the game," de Marigny said.
Marconi will also hold a training clinic open to all Hanwood juniors tomorrow morning.