It can be an unusual feeling facing off with an old teammate on the pitch, but an even more surreal notion for Alex Brosque is combating one in the opposing dugout.
When the spirited Sydney FC captain sees his former Sky Blues contemporary John Aloisi at Allianz Stadium on Friday night, he'll think of something witty to say to the new Brisbane coach.
Then he'll get on the field and keep his eyes peeled for any recognisable Aloisi-isms in the Roar's game.
Brosque knows the ex-Socceroos striker's style like the back of his hand, having played alongside him in Sydney's front line for two years.
And he can see it in Brisbane's forward movement, in their unwillingness to deviate from finding their young and nimble frontmen, Brandon Borrello and Jamie Mclaren.
"The similarity for me is how direct they are," Brosque told AAP.
"Johnny was always willing to let young kids lead the line if he thought they were good enough, and the two boys up front now are great.
"They're very direct, they know how to get the ball to them quick, and try and counter off team's mistakes.
"That's the Aloisi style coming out in Brisbane.
"They've created a lot of chances, scored a lot of goals and Johnny's got them flying."
Brosque learnt a lot at Sydney from Aloisi, who was older and more experienced than his strike partner just hitting his prime.
It wasn't even anything particular he said, rather just observations of his teammate's professionalism and technique, of how his physical prowess attracted players and freed up space for Brosque.
"He was a guy I looked up to when he played for the national team and I was a young kid coming through," he said.
"He also had some hard times in his first season with Sydney, so to see him come out of that, bounce back and have the season he did the second year was something I learnt a lot off."
That was nearly six years ago, and it's been even longer since Brosque played for his opposition, then Queensland Roar, in the A-League's inaugural season.
"That was 11 years ago now, that makes me feel young," he laughed.
He was 21 at the time, a National Soccer League star and one of Australia's most promising prospects.
Even now there's something special about playing them, despite Matt McKay being the only familiar face from that time.
"For me it's always got a little bit more to it.
"You always have a bit of feeling towards the club you've played for before, so Brisbane for me is the same thing."