Daniel Sturridge takes Perth Glory youngster Antonee Burke-Gilroy, once nicknamed ‘Sturridge’, under his wing

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Nick TaylorThe West Australian
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Young Perth Glory player Antonee Burke-Gilroy, who was once nicknamed Sturridge, says the real Daniel Sturridge is ‘seems like an older brother to me right now’.
Camera IconYoung Perth Glory player Antonee Burke-Gilroy, who was once nicknamed Sturridge, says the real Daniel Sturridge is ‘seems like an older brother to me right now’. Credit: Getty Images

Few people had heard of him before Sunday night but the kid once nicknamed “Sturridge” put his name up in lights with a stunning goal in Perth Glory’s 3-0 boilover win over Melbourne Victory.

Antonee Burke-Gilroy became an instant fan favourite with his second-half screamer and pinpoint cross for Ciaran Bramwell to head home the second.

And life could not be any better for the London born midfielder who is rubbing shoulders with the hero he was once nicknamed, former England and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.

“Funnily enough I used to get called Sturridge with the hair cut I used to have when I was younger,” Burke-Gilroy said.

“I had a bit of a flat top going on, I was getting a bit of a “Sturridge” at that time and a bit of “Fresh Prince” (of Bel Air).

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Antonee Burke-Gilroy of Perth Glory controls the ball during the A-League Mens match between Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory at AAMI Park, on December 05, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Camera IconAntonee Burke-Gilroy. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

“It’s pretty surreal to have him in the team. It’s crazy.”

The “real” Sturridge has taken Burke-Gilroy under his wing.

“I’m close to Daniel Sturridge. Honestly, it just happened organically,” he said.

“We were at the training ground, just had small talk and went from there.

“I’ve learnt a lot of stuff on the park but also off the park, just him telling me about life and stuff which is definitely a help and what I can look forward to in the future.

“We’ve been hanging out a fair bit. I’ve been picking his brain a little bit.

“He seems like an older brother to me right now which is good.

“It feels like we have a really good connection going on.”

Sturridge is a prolific tea drinker but he hasn’t managed to convert Burke-Gilroy.

“I spoke to him about some of the tea he brought over but I’m not really into tea that much.” he said.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 26: Daniel Sturridge of Perth Glory arrives for the A-League match between Western United and Perth Glory at AAMI Park, on November 26, 2021, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Camera IconDaniel Sturridge. Credit: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Sturridge will not play in Wednesday’s clash with Melbourne City at AAMI Park but coach Richard Garcia hopes he will get some minutes against Brisbane Roar in the next round.

“We are planning on the next few weeks giving him 15-20 minutes here, 15-20 minutes there.

“We are hoping we build him up for full 90 minutes mid-January.”

Garcia said Burke-Gilroy, 24, has a big future.

“He’s a fantastic young guy, really good attitude, wiling to learn, constantly pushing himself,” he said.

“He’s an explosive little player. The boy has got a bright future.,”

Burke-Gilroy is well travelled having played with Newcastle Jets, oversea in Portugal and the US and re-igniting his A-League career with Brisbane last season before making the move to Glory.

“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity,” he said.

“I think it’s only the beginning. Hopefully I have a promising season ahead.”

Glory chief executive Tony Pignata has rubbished a rumour that Sturridge is set to join English club Queens Park Rangers on a $3m dollar deal.

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