Brandon O’Neill hailed the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season his proudest one yet after Sydney FC lifted the Premier’s Plate in front of a raucous home crowd following their 2-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.
As the Sky Blues crowned their record-breaking campaign holding the Premier’s Plate aloft in front of the Cove, O’Neill simply revelled in the accomplishment.
“It’s overwhelming to say the least. I’m 23 years of age and the last Premiership I’ve ever won was in Under-18’s football, and to do it with this bunch of lads and the best fans in the league, it’s an absolute honour to play for this club,” O’Neill said.
While the Jets struggled to maintain possession and create chances on goal, O’Neill was quick to compliment the competitiveness and intensity at which the away side battled.
“It always is (tough) against every team in the league. They really want to make you play your best football, especially when they come to Allianz. They (Newcastle) did make us work for it but we grinded it out and scored two goals in the end.”
While some teams may become complacent ahead of a week off, O’Neill made it clear that his side would not rest until the Championship was theirs.
“This week we’ll be normal as ever. Back in training on Tuesday, but we’ll have a good night tonight and celebrate what we’ve achieved. But full focus is on the next few weeks.
“We’ve got a week off now so we’ll train hard, have a couple of games in-house and get ready for the semi-final the following week,” he continued.
“We’ll play anyone and we’re very confident that we’ll beat anyone. Whoever comes to Allianz come Semi-Final time will have to play some pretty good football to beat us here. We’re very confident we’ll, not only win the Semi-Final, but we’ll win the Grand Final too.”
After featuring as an integral part of Graham Arnold’s midfield this season, O’Neill is primed to tackle Finals Football and continue what’s been his best individual season to date.
“I play football – not to get accolades, not to be the standout like a Ronaldo or a Messi – I play purely to just enjoy myself. This season has been the most enjoyable season of my football career to date and I’m just very proud and honoured to be apart of Sydney FC.”