Jubilant Adelaide United skipper Eugene Galekovic has hailed the influence of coach Gui Amor as the Reds celebrated a maiden Hyundai A-League championship on Sunday.
Galekovic dropped to the ground in tears as the final whistle went as the Reds won their first title at their third attempt with a 3-1 triumph over a brave Western Sydney Wanderers at Adelaide Oval.
It’s been a remarkable turnaround by the side, which was winless and last after eight rounds but went on an incredible run to clinch a memorable double this season.
And Galekovic credited Amor for masterminding the resurgence.
“He’s an absolute champion,” the gloveman said of the Reds mentor.
“He’s the best coach in Australia and more importantly he’s a fantastic person.
“We’re so proud to have him as coach of the team. It’s been a few big weeks [for the club] wo we’ll enjoy tonight.”
The Reds dominated the first half and had two goals to show for their efforts, the first to Bruce Kamau followed by a stunning free-kick by Isaias.
The Wanderers fought back after the break and pulled one back through defender Scott Neville just before the hour mark.
The home side were forced to absorb some concerted pressure by the Wanderers before substitute Pablo Sanchez made it safe with a clinical finish in the final minute.
It led to euphoric scenes not only in the stands – with more than 50,000 cramming into Adelaide Oval – but also on the pitch between the players and Reds coaching staff.
“I’m so proud of the team today, it was such a great effort,” Galekovic said.
“At 2-0 we were quite comfortable and then they scored to put pressure on us.
“Then Pablo Sanchez comes on and secures it for us. It’s something you can’t explain.
“I’ve been here a long time and finally got the chocolates. 50,000 South Australians here and they helped us today. We can’t thank them enough.”