01/03/2024

Tony Popovic was the happier of the two managers after Saturday's FFA Cup final. (Picture: FFA Cup/Twitter)

It was triumph and heartbreak for the opposing Victory and Mariners head coaches and Viduka Medallists after a thrilling end to the FFA Cup final.

There was a contrast between agony and ecstasy in the respective post-match press conferences following Melbourne Victory’s 2-1 success over the Central Coast Mariners in the FFA Cup Final.

Central Coast’s Nick Montgomery could not hide his disappointment about experiencing Cup heartbreak yet again after losing the semi-final of the FA Cup in 2003 as a player.

He was nonetheless proud of his side’s efforts despite falling short on the night.

“There was no pressure on us,” Montgomery said when speaking to the media after the game.

“No one expected us to get to the final. Of course, you want to win every game. I’ve been fortunate enough to play and now in my first year as a coach.

“You’re always going to reflect but there’s so many positives to take out of the game.”

Kye Rowles had an individual consolation prize with the Mark Viduka Medal, but the failure to take the Cup home was not lost on him.

“It’s bittersweet to get the Mark Viduka Medal,” he said.

“I’m very honoured and privileged to win [the medal], it would just be better if we had won the trophy.”

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On the contrary, Melbourne Victory boss Tony Popovic was elated with the result, waxing lyrical about his side’s performance to bring the trophy back to Victoria.

“It all hasn’t fully sunk in yet,” he said.

“I thought we played well. We controlled the game and dominated, and we needed two special goals to win. It was befitting of a Cup final.

“I’m lucky to have a wonderful group of players who performed well on the big stage tonight. I want everyone to enjoy this and enjoy the taste of success.

“Today we had an opportunity to win a trophy and we took that opportunity.”

Jake Brimmer thanked the Victory faithful for supporting the team in their thousands, revealing how pivotal a moment this is in his career and what he believes the team is capable of going forward.

“It’s indescribable. They are our 12th man and they bring so much week in, week out,” he said.

“This for me is the biggest [achievement]. I’m loving coming into training [and] the camaraderie. I’m loving football right now.

“What an opportunity [to play Vissel Kobe and Iniesta].

“Honestly, with the team we have this year I think anything is possible. I think we can win multiple titles. I think we can win everything that we can win.

“Honestly, I really do…it’s going to be a tough game but I’m up for it, I’m ready for it. That’s what we do.”

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