Not many footballers get an opportunity to take part in a Grand Final in their careers – for Blacktown City FC’s Giorgio Speranza it’s become the norm.
Now for the third straight season, the left back will take part in successive Grand Finals.
“It is a great habit to get into, that’s for sure!”
These matches don’t come around often and for Speranza there is a lot of hard work and energy that plays a telling role in reaching these amazing feats.
“Everyone works hard to play in the big games, and I’ve sacrificed a lot, as have my team mates over the past three years.
“I’m very happy and appreciative to be a part of the biggest day of the year again.
“It’s a special feeling.”
In his debut Grand Final three years ago, he was wearing a Rockdale City Suns shirt taking on Sunday’s opponents, Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
That day his team went down but Speranza isn’t focused on getting revenge.
“I have nothing but respect for Bonnyrigg, they are consistent with their performances and play some good football, and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them on Sunday.”
Last year though Speranza lifted the Championship trophy with Blacktown City and he’s hopeful they can do it again.
“Victory would reflect all the hard work we have put in throughout the year, from the backroom staff who help make sure we get on the field each week, to the sponsors who support us, and the coaches and players who perform week in, week out.
“Winning the Grand Final would mean so much to me and everyone at Blacktown City, and I’m very confident in our ability to get the job done and take home the trophy.”
City are a club who thrive on success and having lost the Waratah Cup Final this year to Sydney United 58 FC, Speranza believes the team can use that as a springboard and having taken out the Premiership, the Championship would top it off.
“It does to an extent because we are a team who hate losing matches, although we were proud of making our second successive Final.
“In saying that though, winning the Premiership has made up for that loss, and now hopefully we can win the Grand Final to top it off!”
For Speranza, anyone of his City team mates could be the match winner on Sunday with the quality the side possesses.
“Danny Choi and Patrick Antelmi have been on fire in the front third lately, and our goal keeper, Nenad Vekic, keeps us in check in defence.
“We really are in the Grand Final because every player in the squad has put in and done their job, and it will take a real team effort from everyone to win on Sunday.”
From their opponents Bonnyrigg, Speranza admits there are a lot of dangerous outlets but one in particular stands out, prolific marksman Robbie Younis.
“Bonnyrigg are an aggressive side who play quite direct football, with good players all over the park.
“We will definitely have to focus on all of their players, but Robbie Younis has especially been their danger man for years, and he proved it in the Major Semi Final two weeks ago once he came on in the second half, so we’ll have to keep a close eye on him as always.”
Banter in the Speranza household has been at an all-time high, with Giorgio’s dad Frank also playing football at Grassroots level, playing in five Grand Finals and winning all of them. Can Giorgio get one over his dad on Sunday?
-By Nikola Pozder