Appiah and Ibini reflect on grand final

They're good mates off the pitch, but post grand final one was looking pretty sombre, the other was well and truly in party mode.

Two young strikers, two good mates, one of them is wearing a suit looking sombre and doing his best to front the media after a grand final loss, the other is lacking a shirt, wearing a winners medal and a baseball cap.

These are the scenes you get confronted by post grand-final, someone has to win and someone has to lose, despite that it-s a pretty good bet that both Bernie Ibini and Kwabena Appiah have big futures ahead of them.

Both have blinding speed and both played quite well in the grand final, perhaps the final ball or touch was lacking for each player but at 21 and 20 respectively there is plenty of time for them to truly develop that.

Appiah was happy with a performance that for most of the time he was on the pitch saw him look like the Wanderers most viable threat in attack against his former club.

“I wasn-t nervous all week and it showed out there, at kick-off the few (nerves) I had turned into excitement and we were unlucky with the result I guess, though I thought the Mariners were the better team on the day,” Appiah said

“They turned up and massive congratulations to Arnie and the boys on the championship, they deserved it today, but we-ll be there next year.

“Walking off, most of the boys were coming out to me giving me their condolences saying best of luck for next season; we will just use it as motivation for next season.”

Appiah of course nearly punished Mat Ryan for taking too long on the ball as the mariners played it out from the back, earlier in the week, the Wanderers youngster hinted he would have loved to put one over Ryan, and he almost did, had Trent Sainsbury not got in the way, things could have been different, Appiah reflected on the moment post-match.

“Nearly mate, nearly,” a grinning Appiah said. “I thought I had a lot of support and I didn-t really have anyone but Dino at the far post and thought I might as well just go for goal, it didn-t come off, Sainsbury got it, but I guess that-s football.”

So while the Wanderers had their dreams crushed the Mariners realised theirs, it was a moment Bernie Ibini will remember and he sees the win as a launching pad for the club.

“It-s an unbelievable feeling I can-t explain it to be honest. Fourth time lucky, to win finally is a great feeling,” Ibini said.

“That-s got to go down to the coaching staff, Arnie sends us out there every week knowing our jobs and getting us ready so we just took it as another game.”

Ibini revealing the Mariners were always confident and felt they could beat the Wanderers despite suffering a deflating loss the previous time the two sides met in Gosford.

“We lost the Premier-s Plate under very close circumstances and always felt we could win this. For us to lose that way to them in Gosford, for us to come back and beat them in the grand final was amazing.”

Perhaps the biggest pointer as to how big the win was for the Mariners and how hard they were celebrating was what Ibini had to say in the matter of his missing shirt.

“I don-t know where my jersey is, but it-s crazy in there at the moment, the boys are still going nuts.”