Former winner Tony Popovic had a mixture of pride and excitement watching Perth Glory's name appear in this week's Asian Champions League draw.
Last season's A-League premiers and losing grand finalists were pitted alongside South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai, China's Shanghai Shenhua and a playoff winner in their group at Tuesday's draw.
It means they'll be facing former player Jason Davidson, who left the Glory to join Ulsan after their grand final defeat.
With Glory set to make their debut in the competition, Popovic said the draw reminded him of the club's achievements last season.
"When you sit back and you watch it on the screen and see Perth Glory come up I think it hits home that we're in the Champions League and we're getting the ultimate reward for last year's success," he said.
"It's a fantastic draw.
"Champions League is always difficult but everyone at the football club, the owner, should be proud of what we saw."
Popovic famously led Western Sydney to the 2014 ACL title, the only time an Australian club has won the prize.
He is now challenging his players to embrace the tournament and see it as an opportunity rather than a distraction from their week-to-week domestic commitments.
"We can talk about the difficulties and the excuses and the travel and the short turnarounds but I'm sure if you asked any player out there, would they rather watch the Champions League or be involved in it, I'm sure they'd (rather) be involved," the ex-Socceroo said.
"They'll be happier to have to come back and have to back up three days later in a football match which just tells you one simple thing - that you're amongst the best, and we want to do well.
"You go into any competition with ambition. You don't want to think too far ahead but the goal should be, can we get out of the group stage? From there it's knockout, you never know what happens after that."
Australian Associated Press