Football is a game of ups and downs. No-one knows that better than Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O'Neill.
As he soaked in the sunshine and acclaim at the Sky Blues' Hyundai A-League victory celebrations, the combative midfielder was determined to enjoy every moment.
“I've gone through a lot in the past 24 to 36 months,” he told www.a-league.com.au.
“Not many people get to play in a grand final, let alone win it, so you've just got to soak all this atmosphere up and enjoy every bit of it
“There are people out there who aren't fortunate enough to do what we do and celebrate what we celebrate.
“All I can say is thank you to everyone who supported us.
“This championship is for them,” he declared.
HARBOUR CITY MOVE A CAREER-CHANGER
O'Neill was only 17 when he signed for Perth Glory ahead of the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League season.
But after just 16 appearances across four seasons, the Western Australian-born youngster signed for Sydney FC before the 2015/16 campaign, featuring 21 times last season.
This season he's really found his feet, starting 24 of the side's 29 games and becoming a crucial cog in the Sky Blues' engine-room.
O'Neill says the moment the championship was secured was his career highlight to date.
“Just pure adrenaline and relief that we finally achieved what we wanted to do,” he remembered.
“I think all the players ran directly to Ninko and we just had a great moment.
“Last night just couldn't have gone any better.
“It was a finals atmosphere and a finals adrenaline rush,” he said.
NO ARGUMENT ABOUT VICTORY’S APPROACH
O'Neill acknowledged the robust approach taken by Victory in Sunday night's season showpiece.
“It was brutal and fair play to Melbourne – they came out,” he said.
“That's what they were about – they weren't trying to play football – they were just trying to be physical and get us off our game.
“For the first half it was a bit of a battle – they did a good job.
“But in the second half and the back end of extra-time we could have won it. We're just so glad to get the win,” smiled O’Neill.
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