Striker revels in Sky Blues freedom

Striker Reza Ghoochannejhad is relishing the freedom he has under Sydney FC coach Steve Corica, as he anticipates his first Asian Champions League game for the club.

The Sky Blues, who have won the A-League's minor premiership for the past two seasons, take on Ulsan Hyundai in their opening group game at Jubilee Oval on Wednesday.

For the former Iran international forward it will be a meeting with his former teammate from last season, Dave Bulthuis – the pair played together for Dutch club Heerenveen.

He will go into the match full of confidence, after notching his first goal for Corica's side last weekend when they beat Adelaide United 2-0.

And he says he's loving the licence to express himself that the coach has given him since he arrived on loan from Cypriot side APOEL during the transfer window.

"The coach has given me plenty of freedom on the pitch, especially ball position; I can drop, so that's good to create something to be unorthodox," added Ghoochannejhad. "It's nice to be able to be free, move into spaces where you think there is opportunity – the coach has given me this freedom and I am happy with that."

Speaking of his first goal against United, he said: "I knew the goal was going to come. I wasn't worried about that because we were creating opportunities and we were playing well and I knew the moment was going to come soon.

"Every game is different but I didn't feel pressured at all. From the moment I came here, the coach gave me confidence, my teammates gave me confidence."

Sydney FC are 19/10 to win their next game against Ulsan Hyundai, who are 29/20 with the draw 11/5.

The Sky Blues are 5/2 to win the A-League Grand Final.

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