Joyce: Melbourne City coming of age
Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce says the club’s progression this season has been one of “boys to men” after a 2-0 Semi Final win over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night put the club in touching distance of its first Grand Final appearance.
After guiding the club to a twin-feat of highest ever Hyundai A-League finish and best ever defensive campaign, Joyce believes the victory over Brisbane encapsulates a campaign of significant transformation.
“We looked like men’s team – even the boys out there looked like men,” he said.
“I said at the start of the season against Sydney in the FFA Cup that they looked like men and we looked like boys.
“As the season has gone on we’ve looked more like a men’s team and we made some good decisions tonight with and without the ball.”
While Joyce’s influence on City’s campaign has been constructed around solidarity and discipline at the back, the emergence of attacker Daniel Arzani has married this defensive steeliness with youthful stardust in the final third, and the playmaker was eager to highlight this difference following last night’s triumph.
“I think we’re mentally very strong this year,” Arzani said.
“There’s a certain inner belief that we haven’t had before going into this Finals series and I think that as I said before we can actually do something very special this year.”
City now take on Newcastle Jets next Friday in a Semi Final at McDonald Jones Stadium, a venue where they’ve taken maximum points this season.