Josh Rose to face Manchester United with A-League All Stars

FOOTBALL: Mariners left back Josh Rose will go into one of the biggest games of his career tonight after five weeks of doing nothing.

But that is exactly why we should expect the consistent performer from Rockhampton to play so well for the A-League All Stars, against the might of Manchester United, at ANZ Stadium.

Rose was ordered by Central Coast management to do little to no fitness and strength work after last season's gruelling campaign.

That seemed fair enough given Rose helped the Mariners claim a domestic grand final victory, before his team took part in some energy-sapping Asian Champions League games.

"My instructions were to take a complete break. The only football I played was with my young fella," he said.

"I've just come back into pre-season training, and physically I'm not where I should be, but mentally I'm feeling fresh.

"I'm 31, but at the moment I feel as fit as when I was 21."

With a fresh and almost carefree attitude, Rose has revelled in this week's relaxed training sessions under All Stars coach Ange Postecoglou.

"Ange has been great - he's been easy to talk to, and all the boys are having some fun," Rose said.

"He's been drilling into us that he wants to see an attacking, short-passing game."

Rose is looking forward to seeing how fellow left-back and French international Patrice Evra goes about repelling a more-than capable All Stars outfit.

"He's played at a high quality for a number of years and I'd like to match it with him," Rose said.

"We can push them if we play the way Ange wants us to play - there's plenty of quality in our squad."

Rose took great pride at lining up against superstars Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono and Emile Heskey in the A-League last season, and can't wait to take on the likes of Robin van Persie, Danny Wellbeck and young gun Wilfried Zaha tonight.

"I see it as a great achievement to take on such a great side," Rose said. "It'll be one of the biggest games of my career - not as much riding on it as a grand final, but the chance to prove yourself against some of the best players in the world."