Photo: Sydneyfc.com

In part two of the series, Sydney FC defender, Ally Green, walks us through the climax to a chaotic W-League season as well as that memorable strike against Canberra.

In the second instalment of the series, we pick up where we left off in Part 1 which covered the regular season up until the final match of the campaign, where Sydney faced Melbourne Victory.

A win or draw for Sydney would give the Sky Blues the title, while Melbourne Victory required three points to finish at the top of the W-League ladder.

“This game originally was postponed due to extreme weather conditions in Sydney, however, we were able to play this at Cromer Park, which has proved to be quite a successful fort/pitch for us,” said Green.

“There was a big hype about this game and of course the Premiership was on the line, we were all nervous, but good nerves.”

A fantastic freekick from Sydney captain Teresa Polias opened the scoring in the 29th minute in what was a close, hotly contested match.

However, Princess Ibini doubled Sydney’s advantage with a calm penalty in the 73rd minute.

A late goal wasn’t enough for Melbourne Victory, and Sydney won its first premiership in 10 years.

“We were excited to finally get the reward we deserved all season. Melbourne were always going to be tough and it was certainly a hard-fought game,” said Green.

“However, two crucial set-pieces served us the win and the trophy we had been after for so many games.”

Sydney made their fourth consecutive grand final with a stunning showing over Canberra United, who lost star striker Michelle Hayman through injury. 

Sydney, in a professional performance, scored three goals and conceded none, with its third coming from a wonder strike from Green. 

It was her first goal in the W-League and came from a rocket from her left foot – supposedly the weaker of the two. 

“Yes that moment was one certainly for the memory books,” said Green.

“It was my first W-League goal and was certainly a strike that I don’t come around often! However that game we felt pretty confident as we were coming off some good form. 

“The loss of Michelle Heyman was certainly a major talking point for Canberra and this meant we could switch our worries from her to exploiting their defence and working on our attack. 

“We played a solid game and we were just so excited that were had won and made our fourth consecutive Grand Final- despite everyone being after us!”

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While Sydney lost the grand final in the 120th minute, Green has positive memories of the occasion.

“The grand final was such a testament to the league’s quality and what we have on offer here in Australia,” said Green.

“It was such a close game with Victory having lots of near chances and us doing everything we can to defend and attack when we could. 

“Jada had a phenomenal game and so deserved the player of the match. 

“Even though we didn’t win there was still lots to celebrate which we hadn’t yet had the chance so moods were still high.”

Sydney FC performed stunningly this season, exceeding expectations, winning its first premiership in ten years and going tantalisingly close to making it a double. 

Looking on to next season, Green expects more of the same, and Sydney fans can already start to get excited about the next W-League campaign. 

“We are hoping that the majority of the squad will stay together and that we can go back and do one better,” said Green.

“This (the championship) was taken from us in the last minute of extra time so there’s nothing saying we can’t achieve that with the quality of players we have on the field.”

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