The promising young defender got a taste of pre-season Dutch glory, as his team upset the odds to beat the champions in their own backyard
In the annual Dutch Super Cup clash between last season's Eredivisie champions and the KNVB Cup winners, Zwolle produced a superb performance to edge out the favourites 1-0 in front of their own fans at the Amsterdam Arena.
And the winner was scored by none other than former A-League player Stefan Nijland 10 minutes after the break.
Nijland, who had a stint at Brisbane Roar in 2013, turned home Kamohelo Mokotjo's cross, giving Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer no chance with a clever finish.
Great way to start the season winning the supercup! And to do it with my boy from down under! pic.twitter.com/tVy6bJg4N7— Ryan Thomas (@Ryan__Thomas_) August 3, 2014
While the hosts had a string of chances, Sainsbury and his defenders had an answer for everything to claim the season's first trophy to go with their KNVB Cup triumph last season.
It's the perfect start to the campaign for the former Central Coast Mariners star, who was in line for a spot in Ange Postecoglou's World Cup squad until a knee injury suffered shortly after his move to the Netherlands scuppered those chances.
But he has started the new season with a bang and is sure to come into calculations for January's AFC Asian Cup in Australia.