There are few certainties in life, but one is obvious – Sydney will play Brisbane in a W-League finals series.
There are few certainties in life, but one is obvious – Sydney FC will play Brisbane Roar in a W-League finals series.
The Sky Blues have played their fierce northern rivals in five consecutive finals series since the W-League’s inception. Last year’s edition was particularly spiteful as Sydney were bundled out in a penalty shootout and a blaze of red cards and hot tempers.
But for coach Alen Stajcic, there’s no dwelling on the past, and for good reason. Only four players remain from that dramatic loss, and with fresh faces comes fresh opportunities.
“There’s no use talking about that game when there’s so many different people involved,” said Stajcic.
“Hopefully for this group it will be a new history and a new memory and it will be a good one.
“Obviously I’d want to beat them and win this year’s grand final – we could never go back and win last year’s grand final, it’s not possible.”
Sydney received a massive boost ahead of their biggest game of the year when Ellyse Perry declared herself available to play.
As part of the NSW Breakers cricket team, the dual international was forced to choose between the W-League game and the Twenty20 cricket final. Thankfully for Stajcic and the Sky Blues, the fullback will be on the plane to Brisbane.
“She’s an important player in the team,” he said.
“But she’s one of a full squad so I’m really just happy to be able to choose from a full squad of players.”
There’s no doubting the enormity of the task at hand. The Roar have played in every W-League grand final since the competition began, knocking Sydney out twice, and finished 2012-13 as minor premiers.
Stajcic, however, remains confident in his young squad.
“Even though they got to those two grand finals and we didn’t, they certainly didn’t beat us in any kind of convincing fashion – they were both penalty shootouts.”
“We beat them 3-1 earlier in the season, and convincingly beat them, so we don’t fear them at all.”
“We’ve always got a plan to beat Brisbane.”
Sydney FC’s A-League side face another huge match as they bid to stay in Finals contention this Saturday evening against bottom of the table Wellington Phoenix. Kick off is at 5,30pm and tickets are priced at just $25 for adults from Ticketek. Let’s Stop The Phoenix Rising and take another step towards finals football!!