There was plenty of emotion following full time in the Grand Final, as Sydney FC claimed a record-breaking fifth Championship at Bankwest Stadium.
Plenty of sacrifices had been made to not only restart but complete the season, as the Sky Blues reveled in their success, and paid testament to the other teams who’d given so much to ensure Season 2019/20 could be concluded.
“It’s been difficult leaving my little girl [back in Scotland], but a lot of the teams have had to do things like that,” said Sydney FC defender Ryan McGowan.
“I appreciate Brisbane, all the Melbourne teams, Perth, Adelaide and Wellington all leaving their friends and family as well. I’m just lucky enough that I got to sacrifice it and make it a little bit worth it.
“It goes a long way to show the sacrifices we’ve made, I just want everyone to know how much we appreciate the sacrifices all the other teams have made and I can’t wait to see my two girls.”
Both McGowan and his team mate, midfielder Luke Brattan, felt a goal was coming, as they lauded the Socceroos right back who shouldered home the decisive effort.
“Rhyan is a joke,” Brattan said.
“He runs all day. I’m not sure what minute the goal came but I knew he was going to get on the end of it, he never stops and he deserved a goal.
“It was important that we kept a clean sheet and I felt if we kept a clean sheet we’d score,” continued McGowan.
“Lucky enough Rhyan scored and I’m just delighted we were able to win.”
2019 Joe Marston Medal winner Milos Ninkovic said it was a deserving title for the Sky Blues, while goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne praised the Sky Blues’ character as they became only the second team to win back-to-back Championships.
“Melbourne City gave everything and they played very well, especially the first 15 or 20 minutes but every final is hard,” Ninkovic said.
“I’ve said many times there are no tactics in the final, the team who wants it more is going to win. I think Melbourne City played well but I think we deserved to win.
“I thought first half we were probably the second best team, but it shows the character in the squad that we know how to graft it out and get it done in the tough moments,” Redmayne added.
“It’s a credit to the lads. The talent we have in this changeroom, I think the comradery we have in there as well is a just as good as the talent.
“Everyone gets along extremely well and it’s just a bunch of mates who all get along well, just hanging out and kicking a ball.”