So we have the grand final that the A-League always meant to have but never did. As Mike says in his blog : “And so the FFA’s dream final has come to pass”. Melbourne vs. Sydney. The two largest cities in the countries and by consequence the two biggest group of supporters. However the 13,000 or so spectators that went to see the Sydney – Wellington preliminary final shows that Sydney supporters are somewhat fickle. They did go to watch Melbourne in the last game of the season but apparently a very important match that will get them to the Grand Final didn’t inspire.
Fortunately Wellington did get behind their team in New Zealand and rumors abound that Etihad is filling quickly (20,000 tickets already sold I’ve heard). Also the great thing is that they are moving the stands forward which means thta we will have a configuration which is much better for the spectators and the atmosphere than being in an Aussie Rules oval situation.
While as a ‘real fan’ I should be concerned that the Champion team of the A-League is Melbourne’s opponent, I can only see positives in this outcome. The biggest two cities in Australia meeting can only be a good thing for the A-League’s exposure. Also by Sydney being there, as Sydney has already assured a place in the Asian Champions League by winning the Championship (ie being first on the ladder at the end of the home and away season) it means that even if Melbourne loses it also has a place in next’s years’ ACL and considering Melbourne campaign in Asia hasn’t gone well this year it is good that it has another go. Of course I want Melbourne to win. But whoever wins I would be happier if it is a great match which becomes a great exponent of the game and benefits the A-League and football as a whole.
More comments also from Eeamonn.