A-League grand final set for record crowd, as Perth eye first title – The Guardian

A-League grand final set for record crowd, as Perth eye first title - The Guardian

Shed crew tell new Perth Glory fans to loosen their tonsils in A-League Grand Final against Sydney FC

Its the first time the former-NSL powerhouses will host a home final in the West since 2003, eyeing their first championship of the A-League era.

FFA Head of Leagues Greg ORourke announced on Thursday an ambitious line up of pre-game entertainment, headed by international electronic dance outfit Ministry of Sound, with recently retired A-League greats to be acknowledged pre-game.

Read more The Hyundai A-League Grand Final is the biggest day in the competitions calendar and we have worked hard to give the fans an event that will be entertaining and memorable, said ORourke.

Current sales suggest we can potentially expect a full house on Sunday afternoon and we are confident that this will be remembered as an amazing event in the history of Australian Football.

The previous biggest A-League grand final attendance was set in 2007 when an Archie Thompson-led Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide United 6-0 in front of 55,436 fans at Docklands Stadium, while the record at Optus Stadium from any sport is 59,608 for last years AFL preliminary final between West Coast and Melbourne.

Meanwhile, fresh from missing out on a second Johnny Warren medal, veteran Spaniard Diego Castro is eager to lead his side to a first championship win for coach Tony Popovic, who lost three grand finals as head coach of Western Sydney Wanderers.

At 36 years of age, Castro should be on the decline, instead, the man dubbed El Maestro has produced arguably his best season yet, with the seven rounds he missed through injury earlier in the season seeing Wellington Phoenixs Roy Krishna pip the Glory playmaker for the A-Leagues top individual honour.

Hes a tremendous footballer, hes a tremendous leader of us. He leads with actions, and the way he plays and trains … you feel very confident going into a game with a player like that.

Hes such a hard working player as well. Its not just the skills and the tricks. People dont see the movement off the ball, the running, the defending. He keeps his body in tip-top shape.

Castro will need to get past former Perth Glory player Brandon ONeill, in a star-studded Sydney FC midfield including former Johnny Warren medalist Milos Ninkovic, Ajax legend Siem De Jong and former Socceroos Alex Brosque and Josh Brillante.

One player who wont be overwhelmed by the big occasion is veteran Glory defender Dino Djulbic, who fled war-torn Bosnia as a child, before settling in Perth aged 15.

We left our home town and we were travelling around Bosnia for about three months while the war was on. Then we moved to Croatia, and then Slovenia, and then eventually we moved to Germany as refugees.

Read more Now 36, Djulbic wants to reward his adopted home town for the faith it and Popovic have shown him after a journeyman career that seemed to be heading towards retirement a few years ago.

Perth Glory and Sydney FC players dominated the PFA team of the season, with Perths Jason Davidson, Shane Lowry, Neil Kilkenny, Castro and Chris Ikonomidis all selected in the leagues Best XI, with Popovic named as coach and Reddy the reserve goalkeeper.

Sydneys Rhyan Grant and ONeill also earned starting berths, with Ninkovic and English sharpshooter Adam Le Fondre selected on the bench.

Both sides go into Sunday afternoons final with near full squads to choose from, with Alex Grant the only player unavailable, due to illness.

There will be a sea of purple inside Optus Stadium for Sundays Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final and onlookers got a glimpse of an impressive purple light show around the venue on Wednesday night.

As excitement continues to build ahead of Perth Glorys clash with Sydney FC, Optus Stadium lit up in Glorys trademark colour for the first time to show their support for the home team.

PREVIEW: Everything you need to know ahead of the Glory v Sydney Grand FinalGLORYS MUST-DOs: The four keys to Perths hopes of securing their first Hyundai A-League Championship SYDNEY FCS KEYS: The four things the Sky Blues have to do to win Sundays deciderGRANT v IKONOMIDIS: The Caltex Socceroos battle that could decide the Championship

With more than 15,000 LED lights in and around the venue, Optus Stadium boasts the largest sporting lighting system in the world.

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Stage one complete of Popovics exciting vision for Perth – Hyundai A-League
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Sydney goalkeepers pre-penalty antics help win A-League title against Perth – The Irish News
Sydney goalkeepers pre-penalty antics help win A-League title against Perth – The Irish News
Perth Glory 0 Sydney FC 0 (aet, 1-4 on penalties) – Goal.com
Perth Glory 0 Sydney FC 0 (aet, 1-4 on penalties) – Goal.com
A-League grand final: Perth Glory v Sydney FC – The Sydney Morning Herald
A-League grand final: Perth Glory v Sydney FC – The Sydney Morning Herald
Perth hoping record crowd can push them to grand final glory – SBS – The World Game
Perth hoping record crowd can push them to grand final glory – SBS – The World Game