Sky’s the limit as Blues eye back-to-back championships

Joanna Guelas |

Sydney FC coach Ante Juric and his players are eyeing back-to-back A-League Women championships.
Sydney FC coach Ante Juric and his players are eyeing back-to-back A-League Women championships.

Sydney FC have worked too hard fending off “jealous” rivals to fall short of back-to-back A-League Women championships, says coach Ante Juric.

After fumbling their campaign for consecutive premiers plates, the Sky Blues are determined to walk away with silverware and come out on top of Melbourne City in their grand final clash at AAMI Park on Saturday.

Juric knows naysayers believe their chances of winning are slim, but says that comes with being competition heavyweights about to walk into their seventh straight championship decider.

“We’re probably not expected to win. It’s all adding to the narrative,” Juric told AAP.

“That’s probably the hardest thing: everyone wants to beat you and knock you off that perch.

“They’re probably a little bit jealous that we keep being successful.”

The history books also lean in City’s favour, but Juric has a rebuttal for that too.

City have won every championship decider (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020) they have appeared in, forcing Sydney to play second-fiddle three times (2016, 2018, 2020).

“Back in those days, City had pretty much 15 internationals in their squad and no one was ever going to beat them,” Juric said.

“That’s just when you look at the contest. That is what it is and no wonder they didn’t lose.

“In saying that, their records have been excellent, but I don’t really care what’s happened in the past. What happens today is what’s important.”

In recent times, Sydney have failed to beat City in more than 450 days.

The Sky Blues slumped to a disappointing 3-2 defeat at home early this season, before being held to a goalless draw.

Rubbing more salt into the wound, it was City who pinched the premiers plate after Sydney botched their chances.

Still, Juric remains level-headed. Asked about his takeaways from their previous home-and-away meetings with City, Juric said: “Not a lot, because we always have tough games.

“I don’t know how to put it. I’m definitely excited, don’t think I’m not, but I’ve been around for a long time. 

“This is just another game and we’ve got to give everything and hopefully by God’s will after that we have a championship. If we don’t, we start again.

“I know I make it (sound) probably simpler than it is.”