Dario Vidosic says a first Hyundai A-League Grand Final appearance vindicates his decision to join Western Sydney Wanderers after enduring what he describes as a “circus” at Swiss club Sion.
This season Vidosic has relished his time under coach Tony Popovic and was one of the heroes in the epic semi-final triumph over Brisbane, coming off the bench to score the extra-time winner to make it 5-4 on the night.
It caps a resurgent campaign after a tumultuous couple of years playing at FC Sion in Switzerland.
After initially settling in well to his Swiss club, things went bad with late payments, incorrect injury diagnosis, seven different coaches and a maverick club owner making his time at the club a nightmare.
When the Wanderers and Popovic came calling, he couldn’t wait to get back to the Hyundai A-League.
“The way this season has gone and where we are now, it’s the best decision I could have made,” the 29-year-old told www.a-league.com.au.
“It’s nice to get away from a bit of a circus that I was at in Sion. Some of the things I experienced over there are hard to describe.
“But here it’s such a professional set-up and it shows.
"That’s why we’re now in a grand final and competing for honours.
“I’m quite happy with this season [personally] and from a team perspective it’s been quite phenomenal.
“I played my part on the weekend, coming on and trying to make a difference. Hopefully we can do something similar on the weekend.”
After struggling with niggling injuries over the last couple of seasons,Vidosic says he’s feeling fitter than ever thanks to the intense and meticulous training regime at the Wanderers.
Every little aspect of getting your body right and preparing for matches is taking seriously. It’s the Popovic way.
And it’s the Wanderers boss Vidosic credits for helping him get back to his best and enjoying his football again.
“It’s just his demand for professionalism all the time. Regardless of whether we’re in the warm-up or off the field, you always have to be at your most professional,” the Croatian-born midfielder explained.
“It’s taking care of yourself. It’s almost like a 24/7 thing, you have to be prepared and the small details are the things that can help us win those championships.
“It’s proven right so far and now Sunday we get a great chance to achieve our goals this season.
"We’ve all put the hard work in, all the tears, all the blood and all the work and we’ll be ready to go.
“Looking at that trophy it would be nice to be holding it on Sunday night.”
Standing in the Wanderers’ way is his former club Adelaide United.
Vidosic spent two seasons at the club, scoring 15 goals from 51 appearances and still has many friends in the side he will come up against on Sunday.
“I was very happy for them as well to make the final. I’m very proud of that club because it’s a state [South Australia] that loves their football and they have really been behind the team.
“They made a bit of history to come from the bottom of the table to make the top and now to host the grand final.
“It’s a great place, it’s going to be a full house, the sold-out sign is going to go up I’m sure and it will be ready for a spectacle.”