Monday night’s heavily-anticipated blockbuster clash with Chelsea in front of 55,522 fans was an occasion to remember for everyone involved and particularly for those who stepped out onto the Optus Stadium turf to face some of the world’s best.
The magnitude of the event was certainly not lost on talented midfielder Brandon Wilson, who, having experienced elite youth football with Burnley, insisted the match was a simply “surreal experience.”
“I’ve never played in front of that many people before," he said. "Optus Stadium is ridiculously good and I’m sure the Chelsea players would be saying the same thing.
“I was a little bit nervous going out there to begin with; going out to face some of my childhood heroes was massive and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
The 21-year-old relished every minute under the bright lights, as he battled for possession alongside fully-fledged internationals and a World Cup winner in Cesc Fabregas.
“Playing against Fabregas, Jorginho and [Ross] Barkley, who are just absolutely amazing players, just shows you where you should aspire to get to and what you need to do in order to reach that level," he said.
“There was obviously individual brilliance, but as a team they were all on the same page. Everyone helped everyone, from making angles, to making space, to creating options for one another, they were constantly helping each other out and nobody was hiding.
"It was really impressive."
Despite the undisputed class of the West London outfit, Wilson believes the Glory boys showed great resolve in holding their own against them.
“I thought we did really well," he said. "They’re just over two weeks away from their season and we’ve still got months to go, so to only go down 1-0 shows how good the boys were on the night.
“We may not have had the ball a lot, particularly in the opening stages, but we showed serious discipline and concentration, which is a great sign. I think the game showcased the character of the team and how we’re definitely heading in the right direction and we even finished it on top, creating some decent chances.
“I will say it was a nice moment winning the ball off Barkley with that slide tackle when they looked to be on the break. I did feel like saying sorry to Ross to make sure he was all good, but I was too busy trying to retain the ball, to be honest!"
Wilson was also swift to emphasise the importance of the showpiece event in terms of inspiring the Glory squad to kick on to bigger and better things this season.
“It was a real eye-opener to the standard I have to get to in order to reach my career goals," he admitted. "It’s definitely a big push for me and rest of the squad to drive on and become as good as they are and possibly even better in the future.”