Brisbane Roar Head Coach Ange Postecoglou and club captain Matt McKay were on hand at the Queen Street Mall centre stage to officially launch the start of Hyundai A-League Grand Final week, naming the weekend’s decider Orange Sunday.
The Roar will play in their first ever Hyundai A-League Grand Final on Sunday against Central Coast Mariners with tickets being snapped up quickly in anticipation of a full house at Suncorp Stadium.
Alongside club Chairman Chris Bombolas, the duo fronted the large crowd at the Brisbane city venue with Postecoglou thanking the fans for turning out to help build the excitement ahead of Sunday-s historic clash.
“It-s what we wanted, we wanted a little bit of excitement about the place and for the club to feel a part of the city,” he said.
“I think it-s going to be a great week for us and certainly the signs are really good for a massive crowd.”
Skipper McKay echoed his coach-s sentiments, saying the squad was more than ready to bring some joy back into lives of Queenslanders after what has been a tough summer in the Sunshine State and a long, hard season for the Brisbane Roar players and coaching staff.
“We can-t wait, it-s been a long time this season where we-ve known that we-d be in the mix for finals and we wanted a grand final,” he said.
“To be here now, it-s a great occasion and we-re ready for it.
“Being a Brisbane boy, it-s been a long road…it took a while for people to get on board but now they are.
“With the flood victims and all the tough times with the cyclone in Queensland, hopefully we can give something back with a victory on Sunday afternoon.”
While Postecoglou capped off a magnificent first full season at the club by being named the Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year in last night-s awards ceremony, the Brisbane mentor was quick to shift the praise onto the players under his tutelage.
“I said to the boys, you need to enjoy this, because in fairness, they-ve created this,” Postecoglou said.
“I said it a few weeks back – there haven-t been any gimmicks, it-s been the football that has brought the people back to the Roar and back to Suncorp on Sunday.
“The players have done that so it-s great reward for them.”
A veteran of four victorious National Soccer League grand finals, two as a player and two as a coach all at South Melbourne, Postecoglou urged his team to make the most of the week leading into the Grand Final which includes an open training session at Ballymore on Saturday morning.
“You-ve got to get excited – I-m not a fan of saying it-s just another game or you-ve got to keep a lid on it,” he said.
“I-ve been around in football for 25 years and this is my fifth, I-ve got a pretty good record but that-s how often they come around.
“I think sometimes if you try and keep a lid on things and suppress things then you miss out on a big opportunity to enjoy something special.
“It won-t affect our training and it won-t affect game day for sure.”
Postecoglou said it was hard to contain his excitement ahead of what is his first grand final in 12 years.
“I-m proud of the record I-ve got, five grand finals and four out of four so far,” he said.
“I-d love to make it five out of out five and that would be special to me.
“That-s what I got into the game for – it-s not about the individual stuff, it-s about the stuff you do as a team and that-s the ultimate reward.
“For me, to be there for the fifth time, I-m just as excited as the first time.”
Brisbane Roar will host Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Grand Final on Sunday, 13 March at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 4pm.
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