Shannon Cole says the scenes in the Wanderers’ dressing room after their historic ACL win reflect their special bond.
Shannon Cole says the scenes in the Wanderers- dressing room after their historic ACL win reflect their special bond, adding that the mysterious team song was belted out like never before.
The Wanderers turned around a two-goal deficit in their first leg 3-1 loss to Hiroshima Sanfrecce with a thrilling 2-0 victory at Pirtek Stadium on Wednesday night.
Substitute Cole got the ball rolling with a second half strike before a late goal to Brendon Santalab saw off the J-League giants to seal a quarter-final berth for the red and black in August.
With the significance of the achievement and the fact that a number of Wanderers are moving on, it was an emotional dressing room in Parramatta.
As for the team song, it-s a well-guarded secret.
Cole, himself an author of a sci-fi book entitled Secrets of Varillein: Above The Below, said the words couldn-t be revealed but he did offer a flavour of how the song came about.
“I actually wrote it at the start of last season. Meggsy [Michael Beauchamp] asked me if I could come up with something so I said I-d give it a go,” The 29-year-old attacking defender told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
“I put it together with some of our beliefs, there-s some of my Detroit influences and bit of my school war cry influences! It-s good fun and everyone gets into it.”
As for sharing a lyric or two, that-s a privilege only the players get to share.
“It was very special in the changing rooms after, all the boys sharing in the moment together.
“It was a real party atmosphere; a lot of joking, laughing, handshakes and hugs and a lot of ‘selfies- - and the team song I-ve never heard it sung louder,” Cole said.
“And with a handful of boys moving on it was a sense of achievement together and a nice send off after two years together.”
Make no mistake this achievement is nothing short of extraordinary.
To reach the quarter finals of the Asian Champions League in their first foray into Asia is an achievement of the very highest order.
To have done it against the champions of Japan for the last two seasons and on the back of a crushing Hyundai A-League Grand Final loss in Brisbane also makes it miraculous.
Add to that the arduous travel in between from Brisbane, to Sydney then onto Japan and back over the last week and this is one of the great stories of Australian sport in 2014.
Cole admitted it was hard to grasp the achievement so soon after but said time would allow him to view the qualification-s true significance.
“I didn-t get to sleep so I-ve had all night to think about what we-ve done. It-s a very good achievement.
“I can see it but I can-t really understand it. Maybe in years to come I-ll realise how special this really is.”
Cole explained that the club-s pre-season trip to Japan and China toughened them up for such an experience where the club ensured it was “much tougher than any Champions League game”.
“That kind of prepared us mentally for what we were about to go through.”
The former Sydney FC and Sydney Olympic star said patience had been the key on Wednesday night and throughout the Wanderers- relatively short existence.
“Patience is something that-s grown into our game. In our first season we were very much about holding our shape and being hard to break down. Then when we won the ball we were lethal in attack on the counter.
“We still have that aspect but this season teams have been more wary of us so we-ve had more of the ball and with the ball we-ve learnt that we-ve had to be patient as teams sit back against us.
“And we knew Sanfrecce were that type of team away from home,” he said.
“In defence they like to sit with five and a bank of four in midfield so we knew we-d have a lot of the ball, but if we were patient and moved the ball side to side eventually there-ll be cracks.
“And that-s what happened.”
He added: “Had we finished on the grand final we-d have felt there was unfinished business. And you can-t do anything about it till next year.
“That-s still there to drive us but to have this now and know we-ll have a good rest is special.
“And we-ve been encouraged by the coach to really relax and enjoy our week.”