South Australian former Socceroos defender Ryan McGowan will make his A-League debut in Adelaide on Friday night but as a Sydney FC player.
After enjoying a long career overseas, South Australian Ryan McGowan will on Friday night make his A-League debut in Adelaide - just not for his hometown club.
In an interesting twist of fate, the 30-year-old will have plenty of his Adelaide-based family on hand when he fronts for Sydney FC against the Reds at Coopers Stadium.
"My mum's still there, my aunties and uncles and cousins. So it's funny how football works sometimes," he told AAP.
"I probably thought when I was growing up my first A-League game could possibly be in Adelaide but the way my footballing path went, I was off on a plane when I was 16, 17 to the other side of the world.
"It's funny that it's come all the way back around."
Not to mention his 20 Socceroos appearances, McGowan's career journey has involved stints in Scotland, England and China but the offer to return to Australia with Sydney FC was one he couldn't resist.
"I was probably a little bit up in the air at the end of the season last year; contract was up and I was just more waiting to see what opportunities would come about and had a few nibbles here, there and everywhere," he said.
"But as soon as I heard Sydney FC were interested and spoke to the manager, it was a pretty easy decision in terms of what I wanted from a personal point of view and the kind of club I wanted to join.
"It's a very successful club in Australia and I know a lot of the boys and everyone I spoke to said the culture we have here - and what I've seen since I've arrived - is the kind of environment I wanted to be in when I came back."
McGowan is also relishing living in the same city as his brother Dylan, who has signed with Western Sydney.
"It didn't make the decision but it made the move a lot easier, that Dylan would be in the same city and for our wives and families it's a lot easier," he said.
"But it's great - we've not been together for four or five years."