Rees nears A-League century
GOLD Coast United star defender Kristian Rees will move closer to joining the 100-club when he returns to the starting line-up on Sunday.
It will be his 54th match for Gold Coast and his 99th in the Hyundai A-League.
Rees, who had an operation on his knee during the off-season, is back to full fitness and came through unscathed after 45 minutes of action last Friday, when he replaced the injured Dylan McGowan at half-time.
A foundation player with Gold Coast, Rees, 31, has been a fixture in the heart of the defence for three seasons.
With Ante Rozic ruled out for another week, Rees will resume his partnership with Michael Thwaite in United's rearguard.
The veteran defender, who started his Hyundai A-League career with Adelaide, before shifting to Wellington Phoenix and eventually Gold Coast, said he didn't even realise he had just two matches to go before he reached his century.
"It's not something I've kept track of, to be honest. But I guess it's good that I've been around in the Hyundai A-League that long to rack up this many matches, the majority being with Gold Coast United," he said. "I've really enjoyed playing for Gold Coast and being at the club, so hopefully I can celebrate the milestone coming up with a win on Sunday."
While Rees didn't expect to get a half game under his belt against Brisbane, he says the solid run did him the world of good, giving his repaired knee the workout it needed.
"Getting 45 minutes in last week was good for me but, obviously, disappointing for the team. It's good to be back though and I just want to focus on playing my part in what will hopefully be our first win for the season," Rees said.
"It's been a fairly long recovery since my operation in pre-season, so I'm just glad to be back playing again. I didn't feel any problems with my knee, so that's good for my confidence."
There was other good news yesterday, with another of United's defenders, Dylan McGowan, passed fit to resume full training.