Former Roar midfielder, now proud Wanderer, Rocky Visconte admits tonight's semi-final will be far from just another game for him.
Not too long ago Wanderers midfielder Rocky Visconte was proudly donning the orange of Brisbane Roar, but a lack of opportunity in Queensland opened the door to a call from Tony Popovic.
Now he-s donning the red and black, scored the goal that sealed the Premier-s Plate all and says that not only does he feel the fittest he has in his entire career and is positive his new club is ready for his now firing former side.
From leaving the champions under a cloud to joining the champions elect, it-s been a big turnaround for the Adelaide boy.
“It-s been a mixed season for me,” Visconte tells footballaustralia.com.au.
“At the start of the year I was at Brisbane and didn-t really get my opportunity there and was lucky enough to have Popa want me at West Sydney and I-ve worked hard since being here and lost five kilos and finally got my opportunity a few weeks ago.
“I think everyone saw I was extremely happy (when I scored) and I hadn-t had that feeling of playing and scoring a goal in a while and was also really happy with winning the Plate with all the boys.”
Even after working under Ange Postecoglou in his all-conquering Roar side, Visconte credits the Wanderers strength and conditioning team for Western Sydney-s historic first season.
“I was training with the first team at Brisbane and playing 90 minutes in the youth team, so you would have thought I had a decent fitness level but even a light day here I found to be tough, so I think it shows the fitness levels they have here.”
Visconte, however, also knows the Roar side he will take on this weekend aren-t the same team he left earlier in the season, and admits this will not be just like any other game should he take the field.
“From what I have seen they have kept the main part of the game going with keeping the ball moving but have added that long ball into their game when Luke Brattan gets the ball, they use that well, but apart from that they haven-t changed much,” Visconte says.
“I don-t know what goes on now (at training) but they have stepped up a couple of levels than what it had been, because at the start of the season they looked lethargic and now at the back end they have stepped it up, a bit like Perth when their new coach came in and maybe they needed to change and brought the change in and that has worked for them.”
After earning one champions medal with Postecoglou, and aiming for a second with Popovic, Visconte admits it-s hard to split the two coaches who could yet face off in the grand final.
“Ange and Popa are quite similar in a lot of ways and one is that they have their styles of play and are headstrong on it. What I-ve seen at Brisbane and Western Sydney is that the players all trust the coaches- plans and buy into it and that is why both teams have been successful.
“They are both brilliant coaches and two of the best I have ever had as well.”