Melbourne City host Sydney FC in the Grand Final of the Westfield W-League at AAMI Park this Sunday.

During the week we spoke to the coaches of the knocked out teams from the competition to pick their brains on who will win, and why.

Jamie Harnwell – Adelaide United

Pick: Melbourne City

Why: “They’ve got the best assembled squad in the league, Brisbane have shown that they can be pushed, but I think given the extra week and the wake-up call that Brisbane gave them, they’re not going to be in the mood to give anyone a chance like that again.”

Belinda Wilson – Brisbane Roar

Pick: Sydney FC 1-0

Why: “It’s a hard one, considering where Melbourne are at the moment and where Sydney are. Sydney are probably coming into some form off the back of a shaky season, by their standards, and I think they’ve also got [a point to prove]. Similar to what we had on the weekend, I think everyone wants to prove something against City, so they’re going to be a hard team to break down in terms of creating, and just that fight the team can have from been together so long, that team unity.

“Whereas Melbourne has that quality all over the pitch, and not only on the pitch but coming off the bench as well. And I think the biggest thing, the challenge for Melbourne City will be if [Jessica] Fishlock is available in midfield. Because she really pulls the strings for them in midfield. And I think once she came off for them on Monday, they struggled to play through that midfield, so I will go Sydney 1-0.

“… but I think I would like Melbourne to win just so that Brisbane Roar was the only team that kept them out all year.”

Craig Deans – Newcastle Jets

Pick: Melbourne City by 3 – 1

Why: Like many, Jets coach Deans was taken aback by how far City were pushed by Brisbane Roar on Monday, but still sees the Premiers going all the way.

“I would’ve said Melbourne City pretty comfortably, other than what I saw on the weekend; I still think they’ll win, but it’ll be a lot harder than people think.”

Rae Dower – Canberra United

Pick: “I don’t care.” Hold up, read on.

Why: In the wake of last weekend’s Semi Final loss to Sydney FC, United coach Dower spoke of her frustration at the post-match discussion, saying “the worst thing is that we’re talking about that [the goal] rather than a game of football.”

Understandably so, Dower just wants to see a game of good football in this weekend’s big dance. “I just want to see a good match between these teams, and I don’t care who wins, so long as everyone is talking about the football.”

Bobby Despotovski – Perth Glory

Pick: Melbourne City

Why: “The best and most consistent team all year and have set the standard for the rest of the league.”

Norm Boardman – Western Sydney Wanderers

Pick: Melbourne City in a penalty shootout.

“I think it’s the odds on favourite Melbourne, but in a two-horse race you never know. And obviously last weekend [against Brisbane] they were pushed all the way, by what you would think was an unfancied side… Head says Melbourne, but heart says Sydney could push it all the way, but it’s gonna be pretty close, a lot closer than many people think.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see it go to penalties again, particularly if Sydney score first. Melbourne haven’t been scored against first, so it’s going to be how they react to what happens, and that could be the telling factor.”

 

Contact has been made with Melbourne Victory, and we are awaiting a response from Victory interim coach Katrina Smith. The article will be updated to reflect her comments.

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Former Taswegian now living in the Capital, an intern at The Football Sack. Get in touch at @DavidJordan33 to talk football or anything Sport.