City intent on denying Sydney historic A-League hat-trick

Reigning champions Sydney FC have nothing to prove in Sunday’s A-League grand final, and according to Melbourne City skipper Scott Jamieson, neither does his side despite the cashed-up club having yet to win a championship.

While Sydney have the chance to create history becoming the first club to win a hat-trick of A-League titles, City are chasing their first grand final win.

However, Jamieson said City’s success at winning the Premier’s Plate this season was proof the his club had what it took to rise to the occasion at AAMI Park on Sunday.

“The biggest feather in our cap is we’ve got the monkey off the back in regards to winning a title, and that was the premiership,” Jamieson said.

“I definitely feel with that in our mind, leading up to the game, not that the pressure’s off, but we know what it takes to win a title, albeit the premiership.”

The same teams met in last season’s decider, with Sydney winning 1-0 to claim the premiership-championship double.

Jamieson missed last season’s final for family reasons, and overall, has a poor record in deciders.

“I’ve played in a few grand finals, I’ve learned a few lessons – a few harsh lessons,” the veteran former Sydney, Adelaide United, Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory left-back said.

“Something for me and something I’ve learned is I don’t get too carried away anymore about it. I don’t look too much into the build up anymore.”

Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson (left) and Sydney FC skipper Alex Wilkinson eye the prize. Picture: David CairdSource:News Corp Australia

Sydney’s evergreen skipper Alex Wilkinson is also keeping calm as he chases a fourth championship in five years with the Sky Blues.

“The fact that a lot of our players have played in big games, have played in finals, have played in grand finals helps us,” the former Socceroos defender said.

“There’s nothing like experience in a grand final match.

“Finals football is the most enjoyable part of the season. You’re never sick of them. As long as I play, the more I want to be involved in.”

Both sides will be without key personnel who are unavailable after recently representing the Socceroos in Kuwait.

City have arguably been the hardest hit, with the trio of missing Socceroos including the A-League’s Golden Boot Jamie Maclaren, who scored 25 goals this season.

“You can’t replace Jamie Maclaren,” Jamieson said.

“I’d be bulls****ing you if I said Stefan Colakovski was as good as Jamie Maclaren, not to say he can’t be, but … the best version of ‘Cola’ is a good enough ‘Cola’ for us to do well.”

In the absence of Maclaren, young gun Colakovski scored a goal and created another in City’s 2-0 semi-final win over Macarthur FC last Sunday.

Fellow attackers Craig Noone and Andrew Nabbout both missed that match through injury but are a chance to return for the final.

Sydney are still sweating on the fitness of Johnny Warren medallist Milos Ninkovic, who missed his side’s 2-1 semi-final win over Adelaide United with a calf injury.

“He’s looking all right actually,” Wilkinson said of Ninkovic.

“He’s going to ramp up the training as the week goes and fingers crossed he’ll be right to play on Sunday.”

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