Sport Football A-League grand finalists battle for bragging rights

A-League grand finalists battle for bragging rights

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Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory have been arch-rivals since the birth of the A-League and very few have been inside the inner sanctum of both clubs.

But former Sydney FC player and Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi breaks the mould, having joined Victory as a youth team coach last year.

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The Socceroos legend is one of the few off-field links between the two powerhouses.

And he believes this grand final will be followed by bragging unlike anything seen in A-League history.

“Whoever wins will say they are the biggest in the league and they’ve got every right to say they are,” he said.

Not that it actually means they are the `biggest’.

“To say they’re the biggest is not fair on any other club,” he added.

“What really does that mean?

“They’ve both won two grand finals, but Brisbane have won three.

“You can certainly say Melbourne Victory are the most supported club.

“Victory, even if they don’t win, will still say they’re the biggest.”

Aloisi has settled in well to his new job,

He says there was no ill-feeling when he walked in the door at Victory.

“It was more people saying `Good to see you on the blue side, the good side’,” he said.

“From top to bottom they’re such a respectful bunch of people, whether it’s the chairman or the person picking up the cones after training.

“I’m just so happy to be involved in a well-run club and to get the opportunity to coach again.”

Aloisi played in six Big Blues and was robbed of a seventh in the week before the 2010 grand final.

The striker tore his hamstring off the bone in Sydney’s preliminary final defeat of Wellington, meaning his role was confined to supporting younger players in the build-up.

But this grand final week, he walked a fine line blending his role as a Fox Sports pundit and support for his employers, old and new.

In a nod to his mixed allegiances, Aloisi says the game will be decided by one of the talented wingers; Bernie Ibini or Alex Brosque for Sydney, or Victory’s Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Kosta Barbarouses or Archie Thompson.

“The midfield battle is intriguing but I still think it’s going to be won out in the wide areas”