‘Hopefully we can get revenge': Glory eyeing Grand Final payback against Sydney FC
Liam Reddy says the Grand Final loss to Sydney FC 'still burns', while Joel Chianese wants to get revenge on his former club.
As Perth Glory prepare for the visit of the Sky Blues on Saturday night, the memory of last season’s agonising penalty shootout loss in the decider came flooding back for the players involved on that May night.
Tony Popovic’s Glory were runaway Premiers in 2018/19, landing the club’s first piece of silverware in the Hyundai A-League era.
But the Grand Final – in front of a sellout crowd at Optus Stadium – did not go to plan as the visitors prevailed in football’s version of Russian Roulette after a goalless 120 minutes.
“It still burns,” goalkeeper Liam Reddy admitted to a-league.com.au.
“Obviously to not concede, you draw a game but you lose on a penalty shootout. I haven’t watched the game and I won’t watch the game.”
Glory were the most consistent side all season, losing just three matches in the campaign and finishing eight points clear at the top of the ladder.
But Sydney FC’s win in the Grand Final means they are classified as the Champions of the 2018/19 Season.
Asked if that annoyed him, Glory winger Joel Chianese said: “I guess so. But that’s the game here in Australia.
“You can win the league but three or four weeks later you have a Grand Final and that team who wins could be considered the champions more so than the team that won the league. That’s the reality.
“But as a group and even with the new players coming in, I’m sure most of them see us [as champions]….we were the best team overall for the year, we were the most consistent and we finished on top.
“We know that as a group, the boss has made it clear to us that as long as we keep performing and play that way, we’ll have a chance to finish up there again.
“They are considered the champions so we’re coming up against the champions [on Saturday night].
“It’s a big game, it should be a big crowd and hopefully we can get some revenge,” Chianese added.
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Veteran midfielder Neil Kilkenny has spent the majority of his career playing in England where the team that finishes on top of the ladder at the end of the regular season are considered champions.
“I know everyone loves the big day, it’s a fantastic experience to play in. But the best team in the league is the league winners,” Kilkenny said.
“They show that consistently every week.
“I’ve only been back in the country for three years and I’ve helped win the FFA Cup [with Melbourne City], I’ve helped win the league [with Glory].
“The Grand Final is the burning desire for me on a personal note to get to know that I’ve got the full set. It’s definitely a drive and obviously I want one of them.”
While this Saturday’s clash at HBF Park will not change the record books or the result from the decider, it’s a chance for Glory to kick-start what has been a stuttering start to the campaign.
Glory have won just one of their opening five games, sitting in sixth spot and six points behind the second-place Sky Blues.
“There’s no doubt they are a good team. We all know that. Over the last four seasons, maybe with the exception of last season, they have definitely been the best team in the league,” Kilkenny said of Sydney FC.
“They definitely have quality and a culture there to win. We respect them greatly but I’m sure they will respect us.
“It will be a really good game, I’m sure it will be interesting, two good footballing teams going up against each other.”