City and their young stars bring the title home

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Melbourne City has finally been to the promised land and claimed their first-ever A-League title defeating a poor Sydney FC.

Patrick Kisnorbo’s side was virtually depleted of its main stars, after they were called up for international duty or are injured. The young city side, typically resigned to the bench, stepped up and delivered City their maiden title.

After falling to Sydney in last year’s finals, Kisnorbo and his men were on a mission to avenge the loss and claim the title.

“We had a chat as a group after the grand final and before preseason, and we started to work on what we wanted to do and the process that we needed to follow to do that,” Kisnorbo said.

“The character that we have shown in the 18 months to two years, and that’s the learning progress.

“So many people doubted us at stages,  you probably did, but we’ve worked ourselves not just collectively, we’ve worked on ourselves individually.”

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A team that played frantic football at times, crushing sides with their attacking trio of Andrew Nabbout, Jamie Maclaren and Craig Noone only had one side challenge throughout the regular season – Sydney.

The likes of Stefan Colakovski, Marco Tilio and eventual Joe Marston Medal winner Nathaniel Atkinson not only stepped up but showed a glimpse into the future of City.

Speaking on the inclusion of the young star Colakovski in the finals, Kisnorbo praised his efforts against Macarthur FC, which secured him a starting selection.

“He took his chance last week, I could have changed it very quickly with Andy and Craig back, but I didn’t because he deserved the chance tonight,” Kisnorbo said.

“It’s been a hard and long journey for him, what you see now, he’s the star, but he’s had [to] work incredibly hard just to get into this team.”

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When discussing what the future holds for the team after their finals win, he thanked former head coach Eric Mombaerts for laying the foundations.

“Eric laid the foundations last season trying to get better at what we did, and that’s the same for next season,” he said.

Football teams around the country have at times been caught out, spending far too much money on big-name stars and neglecting the development of young players.

However City, has spent a large sum of money on its youth system, allowing them to surpass cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory in their development of young talent. This moment proves the vindication the club has worked hard to get.

“It’s not just any young player that’s able to walk in this club and the team, the young kids need to be patient need to learn and listen, but when you mention those four [Metcalfe, Colakovski, Tilio, Atkinson] and there’s other they haven’t been here for you know two minutes,” Kisnorbo said.

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City, a club once the perennial outcast of the league, with its sudden influx of money and a sense of obscurity and mystic that football fans in Australia were not used to and seemingly did not want.

The side’s win marks Kisnorbo as the first-ever coach in Australian football to win an A-League title and W-League title with both City sides.

Having played for City for three-seasons, he adorned the captain’s arms ban through some of the most challenging moments for the club but he now lifts the A-League trophy in the club’s proudest moment.

Feature Image Credit: Supplied

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Pokuah Frimpong
Obsessed football fan, current journalism student.
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