Sydney FC have been crowned Hyundai A-League Premiers for the 2016/17 season, winning the prestigious Premiers Plate.
Melbourne Victory’s failure to defeat Brisbane Roar means they can’t catch the Sky Blues who are 11 points clear, with only three matches remaining in Victory’s season.
The Sky Blues have claimed their second Premiers Plate following a phenomenal season to date that has seen Head Coach Graham Arnold’s outfit lose only one match in the league, while breaking football records that have stood for over 40 years.
The win means the club is now the only team in Australian football history to have remained in outright first position on the ladder for an entire season.
Sydney FC have won 17 of their 23 matches, drawing five with only one defeat, while scoring 46 goals in the process and boasting the best Hyundai A-League defence, conceding only 11 goals all campaign so far.
Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold said he was happy to claim his first piece of silverware with the Sky Blues but cautioned there was still a lot more to come from the players.
“I’m extremely pleased for the players after the hard work they have put in this season. It’s been about mateship, trust, belief and having the right mentality,” he said.
“While winning the Premiers Plate is nice, the journey is still not over and our goals are still to be fully achieved.
“We want to be the most successful team in Hyundai A-League history by accumulating a record number of points and also to be crowned Champions.
“I believe we still have more improvement in our performances and we will be ready to hit our best form come finals times.
“We came very close in my first year here at Sydney FC but have now succeeded and I’d like to thank Chairman Scott Barlow and the board, Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata and my entire staff for the wonderful support they have given me this year.
“I’d also like to thank the Sydney FC Members and fans for their backing and hope they can enjoy this win, but for us the hard work goes on.”
Sydney FC Captain Alex Brosque said he was pleased for the playing group to have secured the Sky Blues second Premiers Plate title.
“It’s a great to deliver the Premiers Plate for our wonderful Members and fans,” Brosque said.
“As a playing group it’s fantastic to see all the sacrifices and sweat pay off. We’re extremely happy yet fully focused on the remainder of the season and Finals Series.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in the stands to celebrate our win at our next home clash against Melbourne City on the April 1.”
The Premiers Plate will be officially presented to the Sky Blues at their final home match of the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season against the Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium (kick off 5:35pm) on Saturday 15 April.
Sydney FC are next in action away against Perth Glory at nib Stadium on Sunday 26 March (kick off 7pm AEDT). Catch the match live on Fox Sports or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.