Update: SBS Sport website to
become home
of all our sport
content on 09/08/2021.

Wilkinson, Sydney FC pushing through strange grand final week

Alex Wilkinson in action for Sydney FC Source: Getty Images

Captain Alex Wilkinson expects Sydney FC to shrug off a week of disruptions and let their experience shine through as the Sky Blues chase an unprecedented A-League three-peat.

Sydney will become the first A-League team to win three consecutive championships if they beat premiers Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday.

But the reigning champions' build-up has been a disrupted one, courtesy of Sydney's coronavirus outbreak.

Several players and staff moved into hotels on Tuesday night to avoid being stuck in 'red zones', before the entire squad flew to Melbourne on Wednesday - two days earlier than originally planned.

"Obviously it's been a little bit different from the normal, conventional grand final week," Wilkinson told reporters on Friday.

"A couple of nights ago a few of the boys had to jump out of home and then the next day we ended up coming down here anyway.

"It's just given us a chance to spend a bit more time together, we're a pretty close-knit bunch of boys off the park which is great.

"It gives us a few days to get here, settle in to the conditions, have a couple of good training sessions and get ready for Sunday.

"Possibly (it could be a blessing in disguise). We all enjoy spending time together.

"We're pretty used to it now - we've travelled away in Asian Champions League and other away games throughout the year, so it's just business as normal for us."

Sunday's grand final is Sydney's fourth in five seasons; with Wilkinson, Kosta Barbarouses, Luke Brattan and Milos Ninkovic all having multiple championship medals - something the skipper expected would hold them in good stead against City.

"The fact that a lot of our players have played in big games and have played in finals series, played in grand finals, I think, helps us on the occasion," Wilkinson said.

"There's nothing quite like experiencing grand final day and a grand final match.

"We've got a lot of players who have been in those situations and in cut-throat games so I think that'll probably help us more than anything."

Wilkinson will add a fourth A-League championship to a decorated resume if Sydney win on Sunday - but the 36-year-old said he hoped to "go around again" next season, rather than contemplate retiring on a high note.

Source AAP