An early start to the A-League pre-season will give Sydney FC's Andrew Redmayne more of a chance at becoming the club's first-choice goalkeeper.
The Sky Blues farewelled number one shot-stopper Danny Vukovic last month after his move to Belgian side Genk, opening a gap that coach Graham Arnold says won't be filled for some time.
"My head's down, bum's up, working hard and just focused on the season ahead," Redmayne said ahead of the club's clash with Arsenal at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
"I see myself as just a hard-working, professional player.
"Whatever challenges present themselves then I'm sure the staff and the preparation they put in, as well as the preparation and hard work I put in, will hold me in good stead."
The 28-year-old has built up a colourful wardrobe of A-league jerseys, standing between the sticks for the Central Coast Mariners, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers before joining the Sky Blues in January.
"We've looked at our successes, we've looked at our weaknesses and everyone's looking to improve, up the game, and we'll put our best foot forward for the season to come," Redmayne said.
He said the core of the squad remains strong and the club's camaraderie unchanged despite a handful of departures, including that of chief executive Tony Pignata.
Sydney FC's coach didn't reject speculation the club's management was looking to Europe to fill Vukovic's spot.
"The plan is to bring in better than what we had," Arnold said.
"We've got three or four spots to fill, we'll be patient and take our time to make sure we get the right people in to want to make the team successful and make sure they've got the right qualities.
"We're not in a hurry."