Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi has been given a huge endorsement by Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who believes the legendary former Socceroos striker has done his apprenticeship and is well-equipped for a return to first-team football.
Aloisi will steer the Roar for the first time against the English Premier League club, in front of what is expected to be a sellout crowd at Suncorp Stadium in Friday night's glamour friendly.
Rodgers said he already knew of Aloisi from his days as a player in England with Portsmouth and Coventry City - but he was more impressed with his record as coach and his ascension to the top job in Brisbane, having done his homework in the lead-up to their first of two games in the country.
"John was an excellent player," Rodgers told reporters on Thursday night.
"He came into England and obviously did very, very well.
"I've looked at his history. I was interested in the opponent and the manager.
"He's done his work, he's worked in development football, he's worked with youth, he's worked with first team and now obviously he comes to here.
"I've looked at the system and the team and obviously they play very good football.
"We know it will be a good test."
Rodgers is also set for a 10-year reunion with one of his former players - Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young, who is set to start in the absence of Michael Theo (wrist).
Rodgers was the academy director at Reading when he unearthed Young, then a teenage Australian with a British passport looking to make it big.
Young only went on to make one senior appearance for Reading in four years at the club before embarking on a lengthy career in England's lower tiers, only coming back to his hometown Brisbane last year.
But it's clear he left an indelible impression on Rodgers.
"It seemed a long way at the time for him to come over but he was a wonderful boy to work with, always hungry to learn," Rodgers said.
"He played a number of games in the English professional leagues and now he's back home in Australia and looking to do well."
While the Roar will also be missing captain Matt McKay (rest) and Socceroos defender Luke DeVere (quad) on Friday night, Liverpool are expected to field a very strong side replete with senior players.
It's understood captain Jordan Henderson will start, along with five of the club's six off-season signings - James Milner, Danny Ings, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Bogdan.