For Sydney FC new boy Robert Stambolziev, Sunday’s Grand Final will represent a home coming of sorts as the 24 year old prepares for his first professional match in the city he grew up in.
While a Melbournian by birth, Stambolziev was quick to emphasise that he and his family are Sky Blues as he said the playing group were confident leading into the Hyundai A-League’s showpiece event at AAMI Park.
“Melbourne Victory are the Minor Premiers so we have to give them respect,” he said.
“But we’re confident, we’re unbeaten away from home, the game is in Melbourne and I think on the day whoever handles the pressure better will be victors.
“It’ll be the first time I’ve played in Melbourne in my professional career.
“I’ve been overseas for the last eight years so going back home, first time in Melbourne with Sydney FC, for me it’s special but for everyone it’s a special day and hopefully it all goes well.
“Being a Melbourne boy, Victory was someone you did follow growing up,” he continued.
“But I wasn’t a Melbourne Victory fan. My family is Sydney FC, I’m Sydney FC, so I’m excited.”
Fellow Sky Blue Alex Gersbach echoed Stambolziev’s thoughts as the 18 year old defender reflected on what has been a whirlwind debut season in the Hyundai A-League for himself.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” he said.
“Everyone in the camp is pretty relaxed and we’re just going about our business as if it’s a normal week and we’re confident going into the Grand Final.
“The way we’re going to approach it is just be relaxed and treat it as any other game. We’ve been doing the same thing all season and preparing the same way and we’ll do that again this week.
“[This season has] been amazing. I came into the team and had to do my HSC right at the start of the season and I got through that pretty well. Now we’ve made the Grand Final and that’s just topped off the season,” he continued.
“It’s unbelievable, and a really good way to finish the season would be to win the Grand Final as well.”
Sydney FC take on the Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2015 Grand Final at AAMI Park on Sunday 17 May. Follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for live match coverage or catch the game on Fox Sports 4.
Sydney FC take on English Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur in a football classic at ANZ Stadium on Saturday 30 May. Purchase your tickets today for this not to be missed football event!