Socceroos aim for Champions League chance

Trent Sainsbury is hopeful his Dutch move will pay significant dividends.
Trent Sainsbury is hopeful his Dutch move will pay significant dividends.

Socceroos star Trent Sainsbury says the possibility of playing alongside Australian teammate Aziz Behich in a Champions League group stacked with some of European football's big name clubs is something special.

World Cup squad members Sainsbury and Behich have both recently joined PSV Eindhoven, who have won the Dutch Eredivisie title in three out of the last four seasons.

Central defender Sainsbury and left back Behich were among Australia's best performers at the World Cup in Russia.

The two defenders obviously impressed then Socceroos assistant coach Marc von Bommel, who took over as PSV head coach after the World Cup.

Sainsbury, who joined PSV from Chinese club Jiangsu Suning FC, made his first appearance for the 24-time Dutch champions off the bench last week.

Behich, who only moved from Turkish club Bursaspor just over a week ago, has yet to make his debut for PSV..

"It's always nice to have friends at the club, especially ones that I've known for a long time now,' Sainsbury said.

"It makes the transition a whole lot easier and we can always communicate with each other if we ever need help with anything."

PSV have been drawn in a tough Champions League group alongside Spanish giants Barcelona, Italy's Inter Milan and England's Tottenham Hotspur.

"It's a crazy group that we have been drawn in,' Sainsbury said.

"But getting to walk out to that (UEFA Champions League) theme song, that's the stuff that you dream of as a kid.

"Being able to do it alongside a fellow Aussie, that's going to be something special.

"(We have) a long way to go, a lot of hard work to go, but we will get there in the end.

The new clubmates are currently in Antalya, Turkey, where the Socceroos are having their first camp under new coach Graham Arnold.

"A lot of new faces have come in which adds a different dynamic,' Sainsbury said.

"There's a different energy about the group and it has everyone on their toes which is a nice feeling because no-one kind of feels safe, but at the same time you're relaxed and calm about it."

Australian Associated Press