A-League boss Greg O’Rourke says it’s time for the game in Australia to have the confidence to stand up and face scheduling clashes with other football codes.
Brisbane host Western Sydney at Suncorp Stadium in the first A-League elimination final on Friday, the same night NRL heavyweights the Broncos take on the Rabbitohs, albeit in Sydney.
“At the end of the day this code needs to stand up and face this stuff head on. There’s no use us giving complete passage to other codes,” O’Rourke said on Monday.
The A-League boss is confident of drawing a strong crowd at Suncorp Stadium given the rivalry between Wanderers and the Roar.
“We would be pushing for 20-25,000 for a Friday night game,” O’Rourke said.
Western Sydney beat the Roar in the 2016 semi-final but have not managed a win against the three-time premiership winning club this season.
Both sides will face a short turnaround due to matches in the Asian Champions League (ACL) on Wednesday night.
The Roar take on Thailand’s Muangthong United and the Wanderers meet Japan’s Urawa Reds, games considered in domestic finals schedule.
“We needed to make sure we put on a good spectacle for our finals series but did not compromise clubs and their chance to stay alive inside the ACL,” O’Rourke said.
This season’s Golden Boot winner, Roar striker Jamie Maclaren, said he was excited by the prospect of multiple games in a week.
“It’s a short turnaround for Friday but players would much prefer to be playing rather than training,” Maclaren said.