Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat called for his captain Mark Milligan to cap an extraordinary 2014-15 season by winning the only prize that has eluded him so far – the lottery.
The Big V skipper collected the Joe Marston Medal as man of the match in a 3-0 Hyundai A-League Grand Final win over Sydney FC on Sunday, adding that individual honour and the title to a haul that already included the Premiers' Plate and the AFC Asian Cup with the Socceroos.
Asked what was next for the hard-working midfielder, his coach interjected with a joke about the 29-year-old's extraordinary success this season.
"There's not much else he could win, other than the lottery," Muscat beamed.
Undeterred by attempted witticisms from the boss, Milligan hinted that collecting the league championship is perhaps an even more satisfying achievement than claiming the regional international crown with Australia in January.
"This is a lot different," he said.
"You work hard every day with this group of boys. We spend a lot of time together, we've worked extremely hard over the last nine, 10 months to get to this situation. Tonight, after a long season, we got what we deserved."
Milligan also talked down suggestions winning the grand final was a cathartic experience after missing Sydney 2006 triumph through suspension during his time with the Sky Blues.
"I don't need any extra motivation. The feeling of being involved tonight is a lot different to back then," he said.
"It does sit in the memory bank. (But) I don't think it makes tonight any more satisfying. I think the most satisfying thing about tonight is we set out to do something a long time ago. And I asked the boys one more time to dig deep tonight and to start the game well. And to give everything they have and to have no regrets. I think that's the most satisfying thing for me."
Featured NewsRead more
Reds' late show steals draw with Sydney FC in Leichhardt thriller
Two late goals in the space of three second-half minutes has seen Adelaide United snatch a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday. The Sky Blues looked on course for three points and leap-frogging Adelaide on the ladder as a Bobo brace had them 2-0 up heading int
Victory parts ways with Brebner after Melbourne Derby drubbing
Melbourne Victory are on the lookout for a new coach after Grant Brebner was let go following Saturday night's Melbourne Derby hammering at the hands of Melbourne City. Victory were thumped 7-0 by their bitter rivals and it proved the last straw for the club's powerbrokers, op
Terrific Tilio making his impact felt in growing City role
Early in season 2020/21, it was Alou Kuol doing the business off the bench as Central Coast Mariners rose to the top. But along Melbourne City's recent rise, teenage talent Marco Tilio has emerged as the latest super-sub leaving his mark on the A-League after a series of impa