Patrick Flottmann says he’s returned to Sydney FC a better quality defender, and the Sky Blues will need his class when they face Euro heavyweights PSG in China on Tuesday night.
The reigning A-League champions face the French powerhouse in a friendly at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre on Tuesday night.
Flottmann, 22, re-signed with the Sky Blues last week, 19 months after leaving the club for Thailand’s Air Force Central to get more game time.
He comes into the squad straight from playing week in, week out in Thailand in a tough relegation fight.
With Flottmann match fit, the Sky Blues could throw him into the action on Tuesday night.
What's more, a number of their players under an illness cloud, including skipper and central defensive lynchpin Alex Wilkinson.
The Sky Blues arrived in China on Saturday night but several of them caught stomach flu, with left-back Michael Zullo, midfielder Brandon O'Neill and a couple of staff members also under a cloud.
Flottmann too has been affected by the bug but says he’ll be ready for the game day against Neymar, Mbappe, Edinson Cavani, Julian Draxler, and Co.
“Some of the lads haven’t been well since we got here,” he told FTBL. “But I hope to be fine for Tuesday night.
“I’ve come back to the club a better player and I want to show the club what I can do, and this is a huge team, PSG, to play against and show what you can do.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of battling for a regular starting XI spot this season and showing what I can do in pre-season.”
Flottmann has been involved in a relegation battle with Air Force Central FC this season, but now he faces a much different challenge back in the A-League.
First, though, it’s the stellar forward line at the disposal of PSG’s Thomas Tuchel.
“I’ve learned so much in the last year and a half in Thailand playing against quality strikers week in week out," he said.
“I’ve matured as a person and as a player, and I hope I can show that on Tuesday night against PSG."
Flottmann was one of a number of Sydney FC youngsters who faced Arsenal two years ago in a friendly in Sydney.
He left the club to find the regular game time needed to to improve himself as a player. He says that's exactly what's happened.
He added: “It’ll be a great experience against Mbappe and their star forwards. But I'm ready for it.”