I just want to start tonight's blog by wishing the Sydney FC women all the best in their Grand Final against Melbourne Victory on Sunday. It's a great experience to make a Grand Final and I hope you enjoy it and "bring home the bacon" as our former Socceroos bus driver used to say. I hope also that some of The Cove travelling for our match on the Saturday night can stay over for the next day to cheer the women along.
It's always good to have the proverbial "comprehensive victory" as we did on Saturday night. But it also has to be tempered with the bleeding obvious: it's still only 3 points.
If we were playing rugby, we'd have some bonus points for a 7-1 win. But we're not, and that's part of the reason this game we love is so exhilarating and frustrating all in one.
I was pleased with the performance on Saturday. How could I not be? And while I don't want to sound like a cliche, there really is still room for improvement. I also keep mentioning consistency: it's so important, and I am confident we're starting to see an improvement there also. The first sign was the fight back in Perth and we're aiming to get better every week across the park.
I'm also happy with Joel's and Tiago's inclusion in the squad. They bring experience, skills and some mental and physical tenacity which will be very valuable as we head into the final 10 games of the season. Fresh faces in the squad also helps freshen everyone up - and that's a good thing.
The match this week against Melbourne Victory will be challenging and exciting. I know my friend Ange will have the Victory players pumped. But so are we. Any footballer loves a crowd, and a sold-out AAMI Park will be a fantastic sight and experience for fans and players. My first advice in such situations is just to absorb and enjoy the experience because it's what we play for.
In closing, it would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the amazing feat of Alessandro on Saturday. It doesn't matter where, or in which league, you play your football, none of us get to score four goals in one game that often - if at all. It was special for him, special for the entire squad and special for the fans who were privileged to see it live.
On that note, I hope we see many more fans at Allianz at our next home game on 10th February against Brisbane Roar.
Enjoy your football! Happy Australia Day!
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Note from Frank
It's a game of opinions and I've always thought everyone's entitled to theirs.