Successful season for Sydney FC?

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Define ‘success’ in the Hyundai A-League. It varies from club to club, and with Sydney FC making the Finals Series in a last gasp effort at Allianz Stadium on Sunday afternoon would coach Vitezslav Lavicka claim the season as a success? After the game I posed this very question to the outgoing manager.
Credit: Kristy Beck
“We had a season goal before we started but first of all is to make it – to be there [in the finals] – and we did tonight. Now we are going to put the full focus on getting ready for the Wellington game and winning there.”
Vitje pauses, looks across to me with a telling gaze that recognises he hasn’t completely answered the question. He continues.
“Not making the finals would be an unsuccessful season for me. But we did, and this is successful, but we have to keep on going”.
A smile. And with that the Sydney press conference is concluded. I thank Lavicka for the season, collect my iPhone from the table and sit back down to wait for Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond.
After missing out on finals football last year the Sky Blues are well within their right to claim the 2011/12 season a success on the field. Off the field however the loss of another CEO, no front-shirt sponsor and average albeit improved match-day attendances lean me to the feeling it’s been a mixed bag. At best.
Van Egmond makes the journos wait an eternity. I’m lucky not to be working to deadline. He enters, justly deflated. My iPhone is recording again.
“Look obviously in points and not getting into the Finals Series I don’t think that’s a successful season.
“But in the way that we’re starting to play the game, in the way that a number of young players are starting to come through and have started to develop – and senior players for that matter I think are better than what they were at the beginning of the year – I think that’s all a positive.
“With a full preseason obviously we’re going to do some retention and recruitment – I think we’re in a much better position to where we were prior.”
It’s the end of the regular season. Sydney FC are miraculously through to play the Phoenix this coming Friday whilst the Jets, as van Egmond stated, look to rebuild for 2012/13.

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Matt Greenlaw
Editor of The Football Sack for three years, Matthew now spends his time sipping merlot whilst watching the reruns of Thursday FC.

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