The A-League gets its dream finale

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    Two of the A-League's most successful franchises continue their rivalry. (Photo: Paul Barkley/LookPro)

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    The best season of the A-League to date will conclude in the best possible fashion, as table toppers Western Sydney prepare to take on second place finishers Central Coast in the championship decider.

    Far from being overawed by the occasion, the Wanderers seemed to relish running out in front of a sell-out crowd on Friday night, taking the game to defending champions Brisbane Roar from the outset.

    They dominated the first half and took a deserved lead through a Dino Kresinger back-heel, as the hulking striker stunned everyone by flicking Mark Bridge’s drilled effort straight into the back of the net.

    Whether Kresinger remains in coach Tony Popovic’s long-term plans remains to be seen, but the burly Croatian has become a cult hero in Parramatta and it was wonderful to see the veteran striker celebrate his unexpected goal in front of so many fans.

    As good as Kresinger’s goal was, it wasn’t quite of the same calibre as Shinji Ono’s deft chip to settle the match.

    It was interesting to see Alessandro Del Piero pick up the Football Media Association’s player of the year award, because as pivotal as Del Piero was for Sydney FC – who at times resembled a one-man team – the Italian was nevertheless unable to fire his side into the finals.

    Surely that’s the major difference between Ono and Del Piero’s contributions this season? When the Italian was doing the media rounds to offer his thoughts on the season, Ono was on the field letting his football do the talking for him.

    He surely deserves to come into contention for tonight’s Johnny Warren Medal award, though most of the money is on Del Piero to collect the major prize.

    Daniel McBreen is another who deserves some recognition for his contributions this season, and his left-foot rocket to settle yesterday’s semi-final against Melbourne Victory was perhaps his finest goal of the season.

    It’s fitting the Mariners have made it through – although a Wanderers versus Victory grand final would have made for incredible spectacle – because the Gosford side were perhaps the most consistent outfit in the league this season.

    They certainly weren’t a markedly inferior side to the Wanderers, so the grand final will be a genuine decider of who the best team in the A-League truly is.

    Sadly neither Wanderers winger Youssouf Hersi nor Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery will feature, after the pair collected red cards in their respective semi-final victories.

    The Wanderers have never lost with Hersi in the side, so perhaps that’s somewhat of an omen going into the biggest game in Western Sydney’s short history.

    Their fans will pack into the home of city rivals Sydney FC at Moore Park, with Allianz Stadium set to be a sea of red and black on the big day.

    It’s an ideal scnenario for Football Federation Australia, who can rest easy knowing a sell-out crowd of more than 40,000 fans will descend on the venue.

    That will of course include a large contingent of Mariners supporters, though they’ll be heavily outnumbered at the decider.

    And Central Coast will be looking to end the Wanderers’ so-called ‘fairytale’ run, as the two best sides in the A-League prepare to go head to head in a dream finale to what has been an astonishing season of football.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist from December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (154)

    • April 15th 2013 @ 7:36am
      mwm said | April 15th 2013 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Melbourne Victory would of provided the better fan experience…to see them going up against the RBB would of been great. I think they will be the extra man on the park for the Wanderers.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 7:52am
        Franko said | April 15th 2013 @ 7:52am | ! Report

        Maybe some Cove members can help out CCM.

        Wanderers Victory would have been a great atmosphere, I don’t think we’ll have to wait many years to see that GF though.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 9:17am
        Kasey said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

        Yes the FFA has got a bit lucky with another all-NSW GF but you could make an easy argument that the Melbourne Victory fans would have travelled in great numbers for the GF had they made it the evidence being the number of Victory fans who travel to Sydney during the regular season. By my reckoning and calculations, the HAL-GF has now become a marquee event in the crowded Australian Sports calendar. Assuming a sell out this weekend (lay down misère on that prediction!) by 7pm this Sunday there will have been 8 Grand Finals since 2006 and 5* of them will have been held at sold out stadia of large size in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Surely this vindicates the FFA policy of rejecting smaller venues like Bluetongue/Hindmarsh/nib Stadiums in order to pursue the larger venues.
        I have cleared my Sunday schedule and am looking forward to another great Finals game to cap-off this superlative season of A-League Football. What a wonderful year we as a sport have had. I am sad it is soon to be over and even though my club is in a bit of turmoil, I am raring to go for season 2013-14

        *My 5 x sellout GFs
        2006-07 MBV – ADL 55k@docklands
        2008-09 MBV – ADL 53k@docklands
        2010-11 Roar- CCM 50.1(sold out) @ Lang park
        2011-12 Roar – Glory50.3 (sold out) @ Lang park
        2012-13 WSW – CCM (42k sellout?) @ SFS

        • April 15th 2013 @ 9:47am
          Nafe said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

          I believe 07 – 08 NCle v’s CCM was a sellout at SFS also

          • Roar Guru

            April 15th 2013 @ 9:56am
            Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:56am | ! Report

            36,354 in a capacity of 45,000. I wouldn’t call that a sellout. That or a lot of people decided not to turn up or weren’t interested?

          • April 15th 2013 @ 10:00am
            Kasey said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            Nafe:
            I have (via wiki) the 2007-08 GF as 36k @SFS. The capacity for football is 42.5k. Maybe it was General Public tickets sold out and SCG Trust members weren’t enamoured by an F3 derby on their doorstep? The hype surrounding WSW should see a healthy number of Members at the SFS this Sunday arvo. I am in no doubt at all that this Sunday will sell out…there’s even a chance a new football record could be set eclipsing the 43,967 for the WCQ v Maradona’s Argentina set in 1993.

        • Roar Guru

          April 15th 2013 @ 10:16am
          Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

          From what I’ve read, WSW & CCM members will have the opportunity today to buy 2 tickets each to the A-league Grand final; then Football Family members can buy 4 tickets each tomorrow, before the General public has access.

          I’d expect the “SOLD OUT” sign to go up early on Wednesday morning.

          And, with WSW grabbing the attention of the “day-trippers” (that’s how our Euro comrades refer to “event-watchers” at football matches) I’d expect SFS members to fill their quota & make this the biggest attendance ever at the Sydney Football Stadium.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 1:19pm
          Brian said | April 15th 2013 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

          I beleive Victory v FC in 2010 was also sold out. The reason there was only 44k at Docklands is because they converted it to a rectangular arena which reduced capacity.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 1:23pm
          pete4 said | April 15th 2013 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

        • April 15th 2013 @ 1:31pm
          j binnie said | April 15th 2013 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          Kasey – Just as an aside but still on crowds, this year’s finals structure,although it has been changed from a 7 game tourney to a 5 game tourney, is still outdrawing last years series.Last year after 4 games it had drawn 51,399 for an average attendance of 12,849. This year the first 4 games have drawn 63,152 for an average of 15,789 which is slightly better than the overall league attendance “growth” during the year,so we continue to improve. (And that was without ADP)!!!! your mate jb

          • Roar Guru

            April 15th 2013 @ 1:47pm
            Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 1:47pm | ! Report

            jb…

            Whilst the H&A season crowd surge may be due to ADP, perhaps, the surge in crowds during this year’s finals is due to MVFC & WSW having home finals?

            Of the 63.2k people, who have attended the 4 finals this season, 42.3k (67%) is attributable to WSW & MVFC.

            Last year, none of the lead-up finals attracted crowds close to 20k. In fact, Brisbane only attracted 15k to its final against CCM last year.

            For finals – other than the GF – I expect crowds of:
            * 20k+ for MVFC, SFC, WSW & BRI
            * 15k+ for all the other teams

            No more excuses from fans.

            • April 15th 2013 @ 10:21pm
              j binnie said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

              Fuss – No argument about your logic but if someone in a potential sponsors office doesn’t get that pointed out to them the series is still showing an increase of 20% over last year !!!!!!!!.
              You know my thoughts on how the WSW & ADP factors have contributed to the HAL “growth” but unfortunately?????? ADP did not make the finals series for, if they had, I don’t doubt the increase shown would have been much gereater.Your mate jb

        • April 15th 2013 @ 1:36pm
          Matt F said | April 15th 2013 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

          The first GF between SFC and CCM as a sell-out from memory.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 11:26am
        Damiano said | April 15th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

        I’d suggest WSW vs MV, probably the two most popular teams in the A-League is in fact the dream final, certainly from a marketing perspective. This said CCM deserve to be there, and hopefully they can break their curse and win it this time.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 9:07pm
          Titus said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:07pm | ! Report

          Even though SFC games were the highest rating and they had the second highest average despite not making the finals?

          I suspect the dream final is SFC vs WSW at Homebush.

    • April 15th 2013 @ 7:45am
      Roger said | April 15th 2013 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Well, congrats to yhe Mariners. A well deserved win.

      Except for Montgomery – studs up tackles and intentionally trying to injure Milligan. The only problem with him being sent off was that it would have been in the first half. I hope the match review panel extend his ban.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 8:39am
        madmaco said | April 15th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

        Yep. The tactics from CCM were to have players rotate to foul Milligan to break up MVs rythym. Worked a treat, though thr ref could have helped with a yellow on Montgomery for that shocker in the first half. Felt that MV weren’t going to get any favours from the ref after all the talk all week about how they got the rub of the green v PG. No regrets though MV beaten by a better team. It’s been a great ride for what was supposed to be a ‘transition year’. Had trouble all season trying to beat other teams in the final four . 2 wins from 10 games. MV need to shore up the defence, work out how to breakdown teams that defend deep with a wall of players, and keep nurturing those youngsters. Exciting times ahead. Can’t wait. Counting the days.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 9:06am
          Roger said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:06am | ! Report

          “thr ref could have helped with a yellow on Montgomery for that shocker in the first half”

          Mate it was a straight red. We really need to stop allowing this sort of play in the A-League.

          Anyway, yes, great season, no regrets. I expected this season to be a re-building season, and that it was. Looking forward to Ange having a bit more room to play with in getting a team together too.

          • April 15th 2013 @ 9:57am
            Qantas supports Australian Football said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

            Roger—-your boys were totally out gunned yesterday. I hate CCM as much as I hate MBV, but Rojas and Thompson were totally nullified by Arnold’s tactics of getting your two most potent strikers, having to spend so much of their time defending against CCM’s two outstanding CCM overlapping fullbacks all day—leaving CCM’s McBreen and Ibini to run at your guys at will. CCM’s midfield leader Hutchinson and Montgomery totally in command of the midfield.. CCM’s Hutchinson has really come of age as a midfielder playing some of his best football I’ve seen from him this season.. Finally he has woken up to the notion it’s much better to be a footballer than a butcher.. He has left that responsibility to Montgomery as Milligan can tell you.. Roger, don’t despair there’s next season to look forward to—being the runners up to the mighty Sydney FC… 🙂

            • April 15th 2013 @ 10:22am
              Roger said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:22am | ! Report

              I’m not despairing. 3rd on the ladder, and 3rd in the finals in a year that I expected nothing. Great season. No regrets.

              And I agree CCM outplayed MV last night.

              I’m just saying the Montgomery deserved to be red carded for that horrendous “tackle” and the intenional kick at Milligan’s knee.

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 10:29am
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:29am | ! Report

                Roger,

                Are you telling us that at the start of the season you didn’t expect more from Victory than Wanderers? 3rd means nothing in the context of a season. Our teams are just another statistic in a season but the places we finished mean nothing if nothing came of it. At least Victory may be able to salvage something?? ACL.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 10:37am
                Kasey said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:37am | ! Report

                Monty was lucky not to get a straight red IMO. We don’t want or need those sorts of tackles in our league.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 10:39am
                Kasey said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                kellet…MBV ACL – surely you’re having a laugh?

                MBV have been openly dismissive of the ACL(Usually once they’ve been dumped out of it;))

                Tony Sage will be spewing if the MBV treat the competition with less than the respect it deserves. The one year the losing GF-ist doesn’t get an ACL slot/playoff posn and Glory get the rough end of the pineapple:(

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 10:46am
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:46am | ! Report

                Kasey,

                I like Perth supporters last year were very annoyed at what eventuated. I don’t know of Victory can make it but I hope they do. Maybe not for them but for the A-league. Its not Victory’s fault Perth were robbed.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 1:58pm
                Roger said | April 15th 2013 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

                kellet, at the start of the season I expected nothing from MV. In fact, I was happy to finish at the bottom as long as some sort of medium to long term strategy was apparent.

                Did I expect that WSW would finish above us? No. Did I expected “someone” to finish above us? Yes.

                And I disagree that 3rd means nothing. 3rd means that we had a good season.

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 2:20pm
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 2:20pm | ! Report

                Roger,

                You’re right third does mean a good season was had but in terms of overall achievement, the only two teams who could deem their season successful are Wanderers and Mariners and potentially Victory if they qualify for ACL. I deem them to have had a good season but no one “really” remembers third.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 4:28pm
                AVictory said | April 15th 2013 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

                When arguably the worst team of last year with the most problems and dead weight players turns it around to finish 3rd, that’s a huge success.

                By your logic, should Mariners not win the Grand Final you’ll be saying that their season has been meaningless?

                They’ve had an outstanding season regardless of what happens in their next match.

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 4:49pm
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                AVictory,

                My Roar achieved nothing but 5th place. They didn’t win grand final or premiership or qualification to ACL. That’s achieving nothing. Victory finished in 3rd. To achieve something in terms of what all clubs should set out to achieve (premiership or grand final success) at the start of the season, that’s achieving something.

                Mariners will qualify for ACL and finished runners up on premiership and if they lose grand final, then runners up in that too. That’s achieving 2nd place. ACL is achieving something.

                Victory finishing 3rd = nothing currently. Though with a chance to salvage something they could achieve qualification into ACL.

                That’s just my opinion. Its ok if you don’t agree with me.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 9:41am
          Ian said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:41am | ! Report

          MV had trouble beating the top 5. 1 loss and 2 draws with Brisbane Roar

          • Roar Guru

            April 15th 2013 @ 9:54am
            Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:54am | ! Report

            They did beat the Wanderers though, something Roar couldn’t do. Just thought id jump in and say that before Fuss 😉

            • April 15th 2013 @ 9:59am
              Ian said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

              thanks kellet. you didn’t mention we didn’t cop a pasting from CCM or ourselves. at least leave Fuss’ job to him.

              😉

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 10:02am
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:02am | ! Report

                I thought id leave that one for Fuss 😉

            • Roar Guru

              April 15th 2013 @ 10:06am
              Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

              And, when MVFC beat WSW we:

              a) were playing with 1 less outfield player for 75 minutes
              b) were playing away from home
              c) scored twice- CCM, SFC & ADU were the only other teams to score twice against WSW .. ADU lost the game, the other 3 teams to score twice against WSW won.

              Interestingly, in 4 matches against WSW, Brisbane – the team allegedly as good as Barcelona – only managed to score 1 goal in 360 minutes of football .. and, they lost all 4 games.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 10:20am
                Ian said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                its good to see you know basic mathematics and can multiply 4 times 90 = 360.
                no really, it is good that you can do that. i actually didn’t think you could.

                i’m glad i got you to spend half an hour finding those stats to try and win an internet point.
                your season was a bit of a let down in the end. ifs buts maybes.
                and only 3 wins ahead of brisbane in your good season and we had a ‘bad season’ and we smashed you with your biggest defeat.
                MV haven’t won anything for half the history of the a-league. 4 seasons.

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 10:28am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:28am | ! Report

                “your season was a bit of a let down in the end. ifs buts maybes”

                Last year MVFC finished 3rd bottom; this year we finished 3rd from the top.

                Last year, Brisbane finished 2nd; this year they finished 6th.

                Most primary school kids would be able to tell you which team improved & which team went backwards.

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 10:30am
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:30am | ! Report

                5th Fuss. 🙂 most primary school kids could tell you that.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 10:38am
                Ian said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

                good one Fussball.

                5th mate

                not 6th.

                i love the standard you apply to brisbane is higher than what you apply to your own team.

                two grand finals in a row which no one did. then make the 2nd last week the next season.

                as is shown in sport, most teams win 1 then don’t do too well the next year. unless you are a brisbane team………brisbane roar, brisbane lions, brisbane broncos…….

                and the roar went into a ditch during the season and we found the drive to get out of it while in that season. quite remarkable.
                victory started falling into a ditch and won 3 out of their last 10. including the infamous game against perth, a win against the cellar dwellers and a win against a 10 man jets outfit who were resting players where you got 2 freebie goals. not at all flash in anyone’s book.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 11:26am
                oly said | April 15th 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                SFC and ADE didn’t score twice against WSW, unless you’re counting their tally over all three games…

              • April 15th 2013 @ 11:27am
                JohnL said | April 15th 2013 @ 11:27am | ! Report

                And Ian, after all that is said and done by Fuss about how much of a better season Victory had compared to Roar, Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory both finished this season at the same stage.

                So, does that make Brisbane Roar as good as Melb Victory? or Melb Victory as bad as Brisbane Roar? 😉

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 11:34am
                Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 11:34am | ! Report

                @oly

                My mistake about SydFC scoring twice – it was NUJ that scored twice to beat WSW. ADU also scored twice against WSW but lost 2-4 at Hindmarsh.

                @JohnL

                MVFC finished 3rd; Roar finished 5th.

                They both exited the FFA’s end-of-season knock out cup at the same time – so what?

                ManUnited exited the English FA knock-out cup before ManCity & Chelsea … but, if ManUnited wins the EPL no one will consider ManCity or Chelsea to have had a better season than ManUnited.

                This is football.

            • Roar Guru

              April 15th 2013 @ 10:16am
              Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              Is that a hook line and sinker? 😉

              • April 15th 2013 @ 10:31am
                Kasey said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

                Don’t forget a copy of “the Australian Angler” 😉

    • April 15th 2013 @ 8:26am
      Buddy said | April 15th 2013 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      The crowd at Blue Tongue was very disappointing last night especially when you consider the Victory fans that made the trip. However, perhaps the lack of interest on the central coast is not a reflection on the success of the team but more on the type of football they play. They may be efficient, they may be compact, they may work hard and they may have a goalscorer but they are deadly dull to watch and this is one team that seems to forget that to bring people to the game and to generate interest you need to entertain and create talking points and players of interest. It doesn’t have to be the likes of Del Piero as a marquee player, neither does it have to be a controversial character such as Berisha but what we don’t want is the bland and boring. I got far more entertainment out of watching my under 10’s on Saturday and then the all age men at grassroots level that passed the ball around, took a few risks and gave us something to smile about.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 3:24pm
        nordster said | April 15th 2013 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

        The good thing about the Mariners fan base is that they arent all too swayed by flash or even style of play. It is a community team that people turn out for out of loyalty. Which will carry the team through more consistently than theatre watchers. The crowd was pretty much in line with their better league season efforts…was a decent turn out for the fan base the club has. It isnt Sydney.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 6:18pm
        barneybuck said | April 15th 2013 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

        Yep for all the A League pundits sayung how great the crowds have been this year this game puts it back in to perspective

        10,800 for a Final on your home ground is pathetic.

        • Roar Guru

          April 15th 2013 @ 6:35pm
          Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 6:35pm | ! Report

          @barneybuck

          “10,800 for a Final on your home ground is pathetic.”

          What analysis have you undertaken to come to this conclusion?

          This year CCM’s average Home & Away crowd was 9.9k

          The last time CCM played the same opponent (MVFC) in Gosford the crowd was: 6.1k

          So, the finals’ crowd of 10.6k is:

          a) 7% HIGHER than CCM’s H&A average this season; and
          b) 73% HIGHER than the crowd for the same opponent, at the same venue 6 weeks ago

          What crowd would you consider reasonable for a team, based in Gosford playing an opponent based 1000 kms away in Melbourne?

          And, when you give us your figure for a “non pathetic crowd”, you will need to explain why do you think your figure is achievable.

          • April 15th 2013 @ 7:21pm
            AZ_RBB said | April 15th 2013 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

            Fuss you said just a few comments ago that you expect all teams except the big ones to get 15 000 + to their finals and there’s no excuse for getting less. but you have no issue with CCM getting 10 800?

            for 10 800 to turn up to an event in a small town like Gosford isn’t too bad at all. but to get a crowd marginally higher than your season average is a little disappointing. you shouldn’t need to depend on away fans to fill your seats.

            i think WSW and its capacity crowds are making the rest of the competition look bad. when they start moving big games to the Olympic Stadium that’s when we’ll see the true potential and reach of this club. first Sydney derby should get 50 000 comfortably.

            • Roar Guru

              April 15th 2013 @ 7:59pm
              Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

              @AZ_RBB

              I probably should have said, all the clubs should aim for these levels in Finals.

              Based on the crowds for CCM this year & CCMvMVFC a few weeks ago, I wasn’t expecting 15k last night but I want CCM to strive to achieve this for finals.

              “i think WSW and its capacity crowds are making the rest of the competition look bad.”

              Let’s not make stuff up. WSW crowds were dismal until WSW started winning. 5 of WSW home crowds were less than 10k, which is acceptable in Yr1, but would be totally unacceptable moving forward.

              When WSW start losing matches & finishing mid-table … that’s when the true loyalty of fans will be evident.

              Will they all still be singing for Wanderers?

              • April 15th 2013 @ 9:35pm
                AZ_RBB said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

                i say it’s making the others look bad because they’re doing well and drawing the crowds. other teams namely CCM and Adelaide are also doing well but struggling to draw the crowds. i know you don’t agree but the Victory finals crowd was a let down as well. i know it clashed with a major AFL match but WSW semi clashed with a very heavily promoted grudge match between Dogs and Roosters.

                i’m fully expecting crowd numbers to drop once the effects of the salary cap and Asia kick in and the team starts to lose more often. that’s why i don’t support this push for an instant expansion of Parra Stadium. would rather keep it as it is and move derbies and finals to Olympic Stadium.

                WSW will have a minimum of 8000 members next season. wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit 10 000. with a high percentage of those fully ticketed, average crowds will remain in 5 digits regardless of any second season syndromes.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 6:52pm
          Titus said | April 15th 2013 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

          Yep……and one day the NRL and AFL might be able to put teams in Gosford.

    • Roar Guru

      April 15th 2013 @ 8:51am
      Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 8:51am | ! Report

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong cause I couldn’t be bothered to look, but hasn’t every grand final been played between the top 2 every year except for last?? And maybe year one??

      Wouldn’t that mean the A-league pretty much always gets its dream finale?

      • Roar Guru

        April 15th 2013 @ 9:15am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        And also 2005/06, when AUFC were Premiers but didn’t make the GF.

        • Roar Guru

          April 15th 2013 @ 9:24am
          Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

          I thought so, I honestly couldn’t have been bothered to look.
          I did say – “And maybe year one??”

          • April 15th 2013 @ 9:43am
            Ian said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

            the winner of the Grand Final though has always been the team that finished first or second in the premiership. 8 years in fact.

            • Roar Guru

              April 15th 2013 @ 9:49am
              Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:49am | ! Report

              Good thing Glory didn’t win then otherwise that would have been ruined.

              I remember them saying what you just said prior to last years grand final. I’m just testing my memory out instead of double checking.

              • April 15th 2013 @ 10:02am
                Ian said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:02am | ! Report

                if i catch your meaning, then the winner has always been from 1st or 2nd. both GF contestants were not necessarily the 1st and 2nd after the end of the normal season

              • Roar Guru

                April 15th 2013 @ 10:05am
                Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:05am | ! Report

                Always!
                And only in two grand finals has a team not 1st or 2nd participated. I believe that position went to 3rd each time.

    • April 15th 2013 @ 9:01am
      Savvas Tzionis said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      Normally it didn’t matter who made the final but this year’s stupid final system meant that it was imperative that the top two made it.

      • April 15th 2013 @ 9:37am
        Kasey said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:37am | ! Report

        I may be out on my own here Savvas, but I thought the cut-throat element of this years Finals Series ‘added’ to the Series. The format gets a big thumbs up from me.

        • Roar Guru

          April 15th 2013 @ 9:44am
          Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:44am | ! Report

          I’m again with you Kasey. Everyone complains cause we have finals and we try to be like other sports. We then change the finals format and its still a farce. Can’t win. I’m glad the finals series wasn’t dragged out and it really did add to the excitement that is the finals.

          • Roar Pro

            April 15th 2013 @ 4:32pm
            Alexander Grant said | April 15th 2013 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

            If the Mariners and Wanderers lost then people everywhere would be calling it a farce, trust me.

            I’m a Wanderers fan and I still think it’s a farce.

            • Roar Guru

              April 15th 2013 @ 4:55pm
              Cameron Kellett said | April 15th 2013 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

              Alexander,
              Ok so you won the Premiership, gained qualification into the ACL, had a Weeks rest, had home ground advantage. I’m sorry the A-league didn’t give any more benefits and are trying to please the Australian supporters and traditionalists. I feel for the FFA. No matter what they do, they cop it.

              I guess you should just be lucky they both won.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 10:58am
          Dave said | April 15th 2013 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          +1 Kasey

          • April 15th 2013 @ 12:04pm
            Jaiden Florimo said | April 15th 2013 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

            You’re right Savvas. Central Coast and WSW winning saved this embarrassing finals format from real embarrassment.

        • April 15th 2013 @ 3:27pm
          nordster said | April 15th 2013 @ 3:27pm | ! Report

          +1 love the cup style finals tournament. A good cup team shouldnt need second chances…

    • April 15th 2013 @ 9:17am
      striker said | April 15th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

      Even though the crowd was dissapointing at bluetongue they made alot of noise when the final wistle blew, at\\ they have a core group of supports of around 10k which is still ok when you look at the population compared to western sydney, i think wanderers will have a tuff time trying to break the mariners down without the likes if Hersi who is a big loss for WSW.

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