Being the best has its challenges. Most know that it takes a lot of sacrifices, patience and perseverance. Only a few clubs in most sporting codes achieve greatness consistently and with four domestic premierships and five championships, Sydney FC is that team in the local national football competition.
As the team prepares for their quest of the first-ever A-League championship three-peat, there’s no denying their opponents will be studying the current champions closely, vying for their opportunity to deny the Sky Blues further chance at creating history.
When Sydney FC midfielder Alexander Baumjohann was asked if preparations would change ahead of Saturday night’s semifinal against Adelaide United, his response was frank.
“No, it’s the same. We know all teams will be studying us closely. We are currently six games without a loss. We are well prepared for Saturday.
“I recognised early on at this club that it’s all about trophies, winning and breaking records. Last year was a great season after Covid for us. We underperformed a little but still won the grand final.
“The target this year was to do what no other A-league club has done [win the three-peat]. It’s hard to stay on top, everyone wants to beat you, everyone plays with that extra percentage against you.
“We’ve had games this season where we didn’t play well but we will be ready.”
There’s no denying that some football critics credit some of Sydney FC’s success to the wealth of the club, especially at a time when some of the team’s stars are reunited heading into the finals, including striking duo Adam Le Fondre and Bobo.
When asked if this is spoken about amongst the playing group, Baumjohann was confident in the player’s experience.
“No, everyone at the club knows how much quality we have. We are confident we can take our current form into the finals. We have players with finals experience.
“We don’t listen to anything around us, we focus on ourselves. If we perform and are 100%, no one can beat us.”
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The subject of how the senior team members keep the younger players grounded and focussed on preparing for such an important occasion was discussed.
“There are not too many younger players playing, but a lot of them have been playing for the club for a long time in the academy and junior ranks,” Baumjohann said.
“The more experienced players don’t need to do much. The younger boys are treated well, they are humble and work hard. They’ve proved that they can perform well.
“This is Joel King’s second season (playing first grade) and has done really well. The young players step in and do the same job as the senior players. When the team is successful, they carry the younger players at the beginning but then they know what to do.
“We don’t need to prove anything. Sometimes If you are that successful you do a bit less (on the field) because you are confident. Sometimes you can’t control that but we’ve shown that when it comes to the important games, we will be there.
“It wasn’t a long pre-season or an easy year but we’ve waited for these games and we will be 150% ready on Saturday to prepare to make history one more time.”
There’s no denying those words will be music to the ears of any Sky Blues fan.
Sydney FC play Adelaide City Saturday night 7pm at Jubilee Oval for a spot in the A League grand final on Saturday 26th June.
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