A boyhood Manchester United fan, Saturday night’s clash against the Red Devils was the stuff of dreams for new Perth Glory recruit Jacob Tratt.
The 24-year-old defender swapped champions Sydney FC for premiers Perth in the off-season and within two weeks of beginning life in the west he got to play against the Premier League giants.
He admits just being on the same pitch as some of his heroes was a "surreal" experience, made even more special by swapping jerseys with French World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba.
“When I was marking him on corners we were just having a chat and I was like ‘is it all right if I get your jersey at the end of the game?’,” Tratt told a-league.com.au.
“A few of the boys went chasing after him after the game but I was lucky enough to get it so happy days.
“I was very grateful obviously to be playing against [United] but to get Pogba’s shirt I feel very lucky because a few of the other boys would have been buzzing to get it as well.”
Glory lost the match 2-0 but the result was merely an aside on a special night for the club, with more than 50,000 fans in attendance at Optus Stadium.
“As a team we did quite well, we stuck to our structures and were disciplined and we made it tough for them,” Tratt said.
“It was very surreal to be able to play against them and some of the quality players we got to come up against. It was a good contest and I loved every minute of it.”
Which is a similar sentiment to how Tratt feels on his arrival at the Glory.
Tratt has settled into a place in the beachside suburb of Scarborough and has enjoyed the gruelling pre-season so far under the meticulous Tony Popovic.
He also marked his first game in Glory colours – last week’s friendly against local NPL outfit Bayswater City – with a goal from a trademark header.
Tratt’s goal was the first in a 3-0 win and continued his uncanny knack of scoring on debut at almost every club he has played at, including for Sydney FC in the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers last season.
“I don’t know what it is, I always seem to score on debut. It’s a good way to start the season and a good way to introduce yourself as a player,” the Dubbo-born defender said.
“I did it with Sydney obviously and I’ve done it a couple of times in the NPL as well with Sydney United and [Sutherland].
“I feel like it is one of my attributes that even though I am a defender I can score goals as well. Hopefully I can put a few more on the scoresheet this year and make a name for myself in an attacking sense as well.”