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Roar's legacy vs Glory's fairytale

by Ben Somerford on Apr 20, 2012

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I'm not totally convinced Sunday's 2011-12 A-League Grand Final will be a memorable match as a contest, but as a moment in history there's a lot riding on it for both Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory.

Reigning champions Brisbane are the favourites and personally I think they'll win handsomely, meaning it might be a bit of an anti-climax in comparison to last season's thriller. Perth Glory have been on a dream run in the finals but on the road against a side who dismantled them only a few months ago 3-0 at nib Stadium, you've got to have your doubts.

Of course, as Glory coach Ian Ferguson has pointed out, anything's possible in a one-off match, or a “cup final” as he put it earlier this week. To be fair, the feelings I have this week about Glory's chances are similar to those I had last week before their remarkable penalty shootout triumph over the Mariners.

If Glory do pull off the unthinkable, then their story will surely be one of the best in Australian sport for the year. A club starved of success since the creation of the A-League, the 2011-12 season has been a breathe of fresh air for their loyal band of fans.

And given Brisbane and Central Coast's domination of the competition in recent years, another club getting up to hoist the Toilet Seat will have defied the odds in a big way, like Ferguson has, after appearing certain for the sack at times in the past 18 months. He's survived and now he's on the verge of, ahem, glory.

For the club's owner Tony Sage, who surely is everyone's favourite football-loving mining magnate nowadays, you feel he deserves something for his loyalty and perseverance with the club after pour millions into the fallen giants of Australian football. And you just know he'll be right there, celebrating front and centre if they do triumph.

On the flipside, Brisbane will be trying to cement their place in history. This is a club who've broken new ground in the A-League over the past few years under Ange Postecoglou with not only their style of play, but their ability to get results, even when all appeared lost.

However, to truly confirm their legacy and place in history, Brisbane must lift the championship once again. After all, they've actually not won anything yet this season.

In an equalised competition such as the A-League, where there's a history of players from successful clubs being poached by Asian or other A-League teams, or even Europe, Roar's ability to stay at the top deserves special recognition. Postecoglou has done a great job, even after losing the likes of Luke DeVere, Matt McKay, Kosta Barbarouses and Jean Carlos Solorzano.

And while they've broken records in the past 12 months and did the double last term, to really cement their place in history and to do their dominance of the competition over the past two seasons justice, they need to lift the championship on Sunday.

In a decade's time, whoever lifts the trophy on Sunday is likely to be the one remembered rather than those sitting their watching on dejected.

In that context, Sunday's Grand Final will either confirm Brisbane Roar's legacy or complete Perth Glory's fairytale story.