"Dreams happen when you’re willing to work hard and sacrifice" - Kisnorbo hails City's homegrown hero
Stefan Colakovski is living out every Melbourne City fan's dream.
From cheering on his boyhood club in the stands, to joining the club's academy at 15 years of age, Colakovski has advanced through the ranks as Melbourne Heart became Melbourne City and his role in it all transformed from avid fan, to raw prospect, to Semi Final match-winner.
The 21-year-old scored the opening goal and assisted the sealer in City's 2-0 Semi Final triumph over Macarthur FC at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The result sent City into the title decider, where they'll meet Sydney FC for the second season running.
MATCH REPORT: Melbourne City power past Macarthur into the Grand Final
In the absence of star striker Jamie Maclaren, both Colakovski and Marco Tilio made the difference as City overcame testing circumstances to book a spot in the Grand Final.
Once a spectator himself, a bright-eyed teenager watching the City stars of days gone by don the badge on the A-League stage, Colakovski invited 15 members of his extended family to come and do the same on Sunday afternoon.
He proceeded to play a starring role on a momentous day in the club's history, leaving City boss Patrick Kisnorbo to laud to impact of his young gun post-match.
"I think it’s a great sort of story to write about," Kisnorbo said.
"A guy that used to watch the games in the stands and now he’s scoring for his boyhood club.
""Dreams happen when you’re willing to work hard and sacrifice. That’s what Cola has done to get in this position.
"I’m really happy for him but he needs to do a lot more, work harder for him to keep pushing, because he needs to improve.
"I’m really happy with his contribution tonight, so it’s great to see people like this do well in football."
"It’s great that (the young players) got given an opportunity and took their chances when they needed to," Kisnorbo added.
"They’ve worked really hard, the young players in our team, and sometimes they haven’t played for a while but it just shows with determination, work ethic, sacrifice you might get an opportunity - and that’s what they got tonight, and it was good to see.
"I think it says more about character to be honest with you. The boys showed great character tonight, and we showed it doesn’t matter how old or young you are, if you work hard and train well you always get a chance. They got their chance tonight."
After combining to devastating effect in City's Semi Final victory, Colakovski and Tilio fronted the cameras to reveal their post-match thoughts to FOX Sports.
The City fans in attendance gathered nearby, raucous and lively. The questions were barely heard by the two City starlets, nor were their answers to the FOX Sports team as the brimming excitement overflowed at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
In the midst of the noise, the cheers and applause, Colakovski outlined his desperation to harness the energy generated from the club's massive Semi Final win and use it to attack the Grand Final with vigour and ferocity.
"It was very good. Half-time we went in and I think we had control of the game in the first half," Colakovski told FOX Sports post-match.
"PK just said in the second half do the same thing, put more pressure on and that’s how we scored the two goals.
"I know Tilio can whip in a cross. I just thought get behind the centre backs and go for the tap-in. It was a beautiful ball and I just got to tap it in.
"I’ve been here since I was 15," he added. "I’ve known some of these guys for five or six years before I even hit puberty.
"I’ve known these guys for ages, and the club obviously means a lot. It would mean nothing more than to win the Grand Final next week."
Match Details - A-League Grand Final 2020/21
Melbourne City v Sydney FC
Saturday, June 26 2021
Venue, Kick-off, Tickets: TBC
Ways to watch
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