A decade and a half into his professional football career, Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre is relishing the the chance to finally play a competitive game outside the country he's based in.
Prior to joining the Sky Blues before the current A-League season, 32-year-old Le Fondre spent his entire professional career in England, turning out in all four senior divisions, but never got a chance to play a match overseas.
A few months after joining Sydney, the chirpy Englishman will tick that box when he plays in an Asian Champions League match against Kawaskai Frontale in Japan on Wednesday.
"When I was younger I've been to China a couple of times with (my home town club) Stockport when I was a kid and played over there." Le Fondre said in a teleconference from Japan.
"I''ve played a foreign team before but not in competitive football like this ... I'll really relish it.
"A competition like this is prestigious for me to play in.
"I've played in England for literally all my career and coming out here was a great risk.
"But I'm seeing this as a massive reward of playing in such a great competition and hopefully showcasing myself as well."
The A-League's joint leading scorer with Wellington's Roy Krishna, Le Fondre has netted 14 times in 21 games.
While he didn't score in the goalless home draw with South Korera's Ulsan Hyundai last week, Le Fondre looked lively and comfortable on his debut in Asian football's premier club competition.
While a loss on Wednesday would be a big setback for Sydney, Le Fondre stressed it wouldn't do irreparable damage to their chances of advancing from the pool stage.
"We've still got four games after that to rectify that, it's not the end of the world if we do lose," he said.
He felt his partnership with recently signed Iranian international striker Reza Ghoochannejhad was developing well.
"I think you can see two good footballers who are on the same wavelength and it's obviously going to keep blossoming and keep moving forward for us," Le Fondre said.
Australian Associated Press