Kemp's time finally arrives

It's fair to say Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp is avoiding black cats and walking under ladders this week.

It's fair to say Melbourne Victory defender Matthew Kemp is avoiding black cats and walking under ladders this week.

After all the former Adelaide defender already knows all about the pain of missing a grand final and only bad luck can prevent him for taking part in his first Hyundai A-League championship decider this Saturday night when he will be an integral part of the Victory defence against his former club.

Kemp was a regular member of Adelaide's side during the 2006/07 season but missed out on a place in the Reds' grand final team that season due to a suspension incurred in the preliminary final.

The 28-year-old could then only sit and watch helplessly as Adelaide was torn apart 6-0 by the Victory in the grand final front of more than 55,000 fans at Telstra Dome.

But now as the two sides prepare for their second grand final meeting in Melbourne in three seasons, Kemp is not only finally ready to take his place on the field but has switched sides and it was Melbourne's memorable performance that day two years ago that had much to do with his decision.

"It's nice to be involved (in the grand final) this year," Kemp said.

"I was pretty devastated a couple of years ago when I got suspended (and missed out) but barring getting an injury I will be out there and I am looking forward to it."

Kemp said he never gave up hope of finally getting a chance to play in a grand final, after missing out two years ago, saying that was a big factor in his decision to move to Melbourne.

"You have always got to think you will eventually play in these big games because that is what you play for and moving to Melbourne I knew I was a big chance to play in these sorts of games."

Kemp, like everyone else, was in awe of Melbourne's devastating grand final performance two years ago and it made him desperate to join the Victory.

"I want to win things and I want to win a championship and coming to Melbourne was a good opportunity to do that because I loved the way they play."

"Melbourne plays attractive, attacking football - which is the way I like to play as well - so the move has worked out pretty well so far but ask me again on Sunday."

While Melbourne heads into Saturday's grand final as an overwhelming favourite - after beating Adelaide in all five meetings during the season (including the 6-0 aggregate win the Major Semi-Final a fortnight ago), Kemp still knows enough about his former team to know the match will be a lot closer than most people believe.

"It might even fire them up a little bit," Kemp said of Adelaide, when asked what effect Melbourne's recent domination of the Reds would have on the outcome on Saturday night.

"I'm sure it's something they will want to set straight and history doesn't mean anything now."

"It all comes down to one game and what we have done in the past doesn't mean anything if we don't win this weekend and we will feel like we haven't achieved anything if we lose."