He’s already shown some quality pre-season form, but new Sydney FC striker Adam Le Fondre admits being surprised by the standard of the A-League.
Le Fondre has the unenviable task of filling the record-breaking boots of Bobo for the Sky Blues this season after joining the club on a multi-year deal.
But based on his trial form, the former Premier League forward has quickly found his footing for the perennial contenders with two goals in as many games.
“I’ve been really impressed by the quality of the boys that create chances,” Le Fondre told AAP ahead of their season-opener against Adelaide on Friday.
“Obviously it’s my job to put them away. But because the boys have been so good, so welcoming, I’ve slipped straight into it and found my groove straightaway.
“I’m hoping to continue that into the season.”
Le Fondre arrives in the A-League with a strong resume, having spent most of his career in the Championship, including a final stop with Bolton last season.
And while he was keen to test his abilities abroad, he was unsure as to what the level of competition would be like in .
Asked if what he had seen so far had surprised him, Le Fondre said: “Yeah it did.
“A lot of people downplay the A-League a lot, but I’ve come out here and the quality’s a lot higher than what’s expected, especially in our club.
“We’ve got some really good players there.
“Over in England, it’s not shown in the greatest of lights, the A-League. But coming out here and seeing it first hand for myself, I know the quality is here.
“It’s certainly not a big step down, definitely not.”
Le Fondre garnered headlines for Reading in 2012-13, when he set the Premier League alight with 12 goals – eight of them coming from the bench.
At the time, it was a Premier League record.
However, he has embraced the challenge of stepping into the shoes of Bobo, who scored an A-League record 27 goals for the Sky Blues last season.
“That’s why I came out here, because I wanted to score goals and help win trophies,” he said.
“We’ve got an FFA Cup final, the Asian Champions League, and obviously if we do well in the season, the grand final.
“All these things for me are things, targets for me to set my sights on.”