Sydney's seemingly indefatigable running machine Rhyan Grant says he gets knackered during games, but there's a precious break coming his way.
Adelaide's 1-0 A-League win over Melbourne Victory on Friday gifted Sydney second spot, meaning they won''t play in the first week of finals early next month.
It will be provide welcome respite after a challenging April schedule containing six matches, ending with an Asian Champions League fixture in China next Tuesday followed by a game at Newcastle four days later.
Fullback Grant's lung-busting bursts up and down the right-hand flank have been a feature of the Sky Blues play this season and earned him Socceroos representation.
'"Obviously I do the team training and the coaching staff and the fitness coach put in place certain things that keep us sharp, keep us fit, but a lot if it is just natural, which I'm pretty lucky to be able to keep going," Grant told AAP.
"I definitely get tired, I get knackered throughout the game at different times.
"But I think at right-back you're a bit lucky, where you can pick and choose when you want to get forward."
Sydney coach Steve Corica says he marvels at the stamina of his 28-year-old defender.
"It's unbelievable really, he's got so much energy and it gives us that go forward on that right hand side," Corica said
"But he gets back very quickly to defend as well."
Sydney's next assignment is away to star-studded Chinese side Shanghai SIPG.
Bottom of their four-team group at the halfway stage after two draws and a loss, Sydney badly need a win to boost their hopes of advancing.
Grant and his defensive colleagues are again likely to face the challenge of trying to contain SIPG's Brazilian superstars Hulk and Oscar, who between them were involved in all of Shanghai's goals in their 3-3 draw with the Sky Blues in Sydney earlier this month.
'Obviously we knew they were great players but being able to play against them you see what they've got," Grant said.
"Not just test yourself but it gives you a little bit of an edge to know what they can do and what they have to offer."
Grant has accumulated more game time in Asia recently than any of his clubmates having played in all five of Australia's Asian Cup games back in January, starting in the last four.
Australian Associated Press