Sydney United 58’s towering defender Adrian Vlastelica knows how it feels and the pain that comes with losing a Grand Final.
Having had such a tremendous run in 2019, Sydney United 58 fell short at the last hurdle bowing out to eventual Grand Final winners APIA Leichhardt FC at Bankwest Stadium.
It is that feeling alone that the 25-year-old hopes to not revisit when the skipper sets his sights on spoiling 2020 Premiers Rockdale Ilinden’s party this Sunday in this year’s Grand Final at Marconi Stadium.
“Of course the pain of losing any final is always tough to take and I know how much it would mean to the club to lift the Championship trophy once more.
“I think it will be huge for not only the players and staff but our loyal supporters who turn up in large numbers week in week out home and away should we get that successful result this Sunday.
“Also, having not won the NPL NSW Men’s Grand Final since 2006 and coming so close last year, it would be a huge achievement for everyone involved.”
Ultra-proud of his club colours, Vlastelica has thoroughly enjoyed taking the captain’s armband week in week out in an NPL year that’s seen so much drama and excitement.
“It’s been an honour to do this week in week out.
“The job has been made easy with all the experience and top-quality players we have in our squad it must be said.
“Hopefully we can finish the job off and get the result on Sunday.”
The former Hurstville Zagreb junior was at his commanding best when he and his troops dug in deep to record a memorable 3-1 Semi-Final victory over the Wollongong Wolves last Sunday, setting up a Grand Final date with Rockdale Illinden.
“We knew going into that match that we had a good record against Wollongong.
“Like last season, we managed to beat them at this stage of the competition, so the confidence was there to get the result again.
“We had a game plan and we stuck to that, played our style of football and a few moments of quality helped get the result that sent us through.”
Sunday’s opponents Rockdale Ilinden have really come of age during the 2020 rebooted season.
Coach Steve Zoric has been instrumental in Rockdale’s success but Vlastelica, although respecting his opposition, understands that his side will give it their all in bringing that elusive Championship trophy back to the King Tom Club on Sunday night.
“Rockdale have been very consistent this year and a tough side to beat.
“It will be a tough game as every final is.
“We played out a 2-2 draw less than a month ago so come Sunday we will have our game plan and hopefully come away with the win.
“You can expect us to play our attacking free flowing football as we have all season.
“I think it will be a great game to watch with two quality sides going at it.
“Last year’s final gives us extra motivation to get it over the line come Sunday you can be sure of that.”
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