Trent Sainsbury and partner Elissa Sainsbury. Picture: Instagram
Trent Sainsbury and partner Elissa Sainsbury. Picture: Instagram

Sainsbury on standby for baby birth

The deeper the Socceroos advance into the Asian Cup, the more likely Trent Sainsbury is to have someone manning his phone on the bench.

Because each successful knockout match in the United Arab Emirates will not only increase Australia's prospects of retaining the trophy, it also shortens the odds of his first baby arriving.

Sainsbury's heavily pregnant wife, Elissa, is due on February 11 - 10 days after the final - and he has every ­intention of racing straight back to the Netherlands if the call comes.

"I'll have someone on the bench keeping an eye on my phone because it's getting so close," Sainsbury told The Sunday Telegraph.

"Obviously I'll have to fly back straight away ... I've spoken to a few of the boys and they've all told me I have to go back - these are the boys with kids. The boys who don't have them are like 'nah we need to win the trophy'. But I don't know if I have a choice if I want to have a wife when I get home."

 

There's rather less chance the new bub's grandfather will be able to take off too, given he's also the man in the Socceroos dugout.

Several years ago it would have been nigh on impossible to predict Graham Arnold would one day coach the former Central Coast Mariners defender who married his daughter at national-team level.

Perth-born Sainsbury met Elissa after moving to Gosford from the AIS as a rat's-tailed teenager in 2010. Not that Arnold knew about the blossoming relationship. The story of how it all unfolded is a little different ­depending who tells it.

 

Trent Sainsbury and partner Elissa Sainsbury are expecting Picture: Instagram
Trent Sainsbury and partner Elissa Sainsbury are expecting Picture: Instagram

 

"There's a few versions," Sainsbury says, before relaying "the PG version".

"It started off with my roommate Marc Warren who was playing with the Mariners at the time. I didn't have a car so he was driving me around and I started seeing Elissa.

"He knew about it and word sort of spread, because some of the boys saw us at the cinema and stuff like that.

"I kept getting asked, 'are you going to tell him?' and I really didn't know how to approach it."

By then everyone knew except ­Arnold, though he soon realised something was up during one ­particular training session.

 

Socceroos captain Trent Sainsbury. Picture: Toby Zerna
Socceroos captain Trent Sainsbury. Picture: Toby Zerna

 

"All the boys knew and at training one day Arnie was like 'yes Trent, good pass my son', and most of the boys just started giggling. He was like 'what's going on?'" Sainsbury says.

That Arnold has recalled uttering something more along the lines of "for f...'s sake son" after Sainsbury kept making mistakes is perhaps one for debate around the dinner table.

What they both agree on is that Arnold's wife Sarah then took her husband to the Crowne Plaza in Terrigal and plied him with beer after beer "to lighten the load" before breaking the news.

"He gave me the 'father speech' in the changing room after one of the games when no one was in there," Sainsbury says. "He said 'if you hurt her feelings I'll break your legs' or something like that. He said 'you can't help who you like'.

"It's been good since then. I think for him also having three daughters, it's nice to have a guy who can speak to him about sport and football and other things. I don't think he was pissed off, he was more upset we didn't come to him in the first place, but I just really didn't know how to approach it - I mean, the head coach's daughter.

"I wasn't playing at the time either so some of the older boys joked that it would either work wonders for me or my contract would be ripped up. It's all fun and games looking back at it now."

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