Heading into this season’s finals campaign the A-League was not exactly thriving.

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Quite the opposite really.

Although the quality of football remained at around the same level it has been in previous seasons, perhaps every off-field aspect regressed in some way.

Season attendance figures fell to an average of 10667, a far cry from the 12295 average last season and the lowest figure since the days of Clive Palmer in 2011-12.

Promotion of the league was widely maligned before and during the season, whilst a bitter feud between club owners and the FFA threatened to spill onto the pitch throughout the 27 rounds.

That wasn’t all though. Well of course that wasn’t all.

Unruly fans, overzealous stadium security and embarrassing blunders plagued the league to no end.

Star players snapped their ankles and others left to greener pastures midway through the season as the A-League’s integrity reached farcical levels.

We haven’t even mentioned the pièce de résistance yet.

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And rising above the ashes was Sydney FC, no team standing a chance against *one of* the greatest sides the league has ever seen.

Media, fans and officials alike bickered and bantered – to the extent where conversations became toxic – over the next steps the A-League should take following such a disappointing and underwhelming season.

Many of these pundits however failed to account for the incoming finals series and my word, hasn’t it been something else!

The cream of the crop has captured the gaze of a nation and showcased champagne football, something the previous 27 weeks failed to do.

Besart Berisha’s 90th minute bicycle kick to break Adelaide hearts was the highlight of week one.

But what football fans witnessed over this weekend was sheer fantasy.

Friday Night. City leading in Newcastle. Oh my goodness. OH MY GOODNESS. RILEY MCGREE. Jason Hoffman. The Newcastle fairy-tale continues.

Saturday Night. Sydney on the brink. Terry Antonis. Extra Time. TERRY ANTONIS. THE VILLAIN TURNED HERO. The Greatest A-League Team of All Time OUT.

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The 210 minutes played had everything and that little bit more, drawing global attention to a league which has had a tough time drawing any attention in its own country of late.

Graham Arnold’s imperious Sky Blues cruising the league with multiple rounds to spare would have spelled disaster for a finals-less A-League.

Instead we are seeing the impact of an irresistible postseason on a league in dire search of revival.

Finals bring out the best in everyone. We see it across Australian and American sporting codes. There’s no better bridge than a Grand Final to unify fans in their passion for the sport on the last, most important day on the calendar.

If nothing else the A-League has captured this spirit, drawing national interest to an enthralling Grand Final.

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Will Ernie Merrick and his reigning wooden-spooners complete the magic turnaround to become Premiers in front of an electric 30,000 in Newcastle?

Or will Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory storm home to spoil the party and again become the most decorated side in league history?

One thing is certain: this postseason hasn’t just salvaged the 2017-18 A-League season.

Rather, it has enshrined it as one for the ages.

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Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.