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[FM14] Doing It Down Under! v2.0

Started on 25 July 2014 by Feliks / First Post
Latest Reply on 24 November 2014 by Feliks / Last Post
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toonman Neither can I!

Walter The so-called interviewer Lucy, or the guy behind the scenes? ;)

Griffo :(
Don't give me that look!
What a brilliant story so far mate. Just read through from start to finish. Everything is written in such good detail, and its good to see a story that I can just read in one go. Brilliant graphics as well. Good luck in the final!
Griffo *ignores*

joethequin Thanks for the kind words, they mean a lot :)

Official Grand Final Preview

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After 27 games, a final series, and drama and action at every turn, Australian football's pinnacle has arrived. Tomorrow, the 2 best teams in the nation will battle it out for the holy grail, the A-League Champions Plate. The coveted trophy this year will be fought out between 2 New South Welsh teams, Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets.

Newcastle Jets

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Both teams have endured pain and triumph to get to this stage, but perhaps more so the Newcastle Jets. They clambered from a disappointing start up into the top 6, and after an incredible second half to the season, they had a chance to finish 2nd but eventually lost it and tumbled to 5th. Undeterred by this result, they kept their cool in a penalty shootout against the Melbourne Heart and calmly dispatched Wellington 1-0 in the semis to make their way to the final.

The Jets play a sour, defensive brand of football which may not be pleasing to the eye but gets a lot of results. Their typical game plan is to attack early, score, and sit back on their lead. The Jets defense of Carney, Chapman, Regan and either Zadkovich and Brillante works well as the group play as a unit along with a defensive midfielder. The use of wingers means that Lodovico's group of full backs (David Carney, Samuel Gallaway, Ruben Zadkovich and Josh Brillante) can play a defensive role minding the opposition wingers. The defensive midfielder plays as a half back, patrolling the spaces and adding more defensive stability. The 2 central midfielders have differing roles, with one staying deep and playmaking whilst the other runs the show and plays multiple roles. The wingers are the main supply to the big target man Emile Heskey, who also brings others into play with his aerial prowess. The tactic has worked very well since the switch to it in January, and it is one that can easily frustrate opponents.

Sydney FC

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Premiership favourites, Sydney FC faltered after some early season promise and eventually finished 2nd in the league, after Wellington. They took full advantage of having a break in the first week of finals and managed to defeat Adelaide United 1-0 in the semi finals. Now, the free flowing Sky Blues face a very defensive obstacle in the Newcastle Jets.

Sydney FC play the same formation as the Jets, but play a very attacking brand of football. Playing across the back 4 are Nikola Petkovic, Sasa Ognenovski, Sebastian Ryall and Pedj Bojic. The defensive abilities of Ognenovski and Ryall means that the 2 full backs can roam up the pitch and provide width as the traditional wingers instead act as playmakers. A defensive midfielder and 2 centre mids in essence provides 2 playmakers and a ball winner, whilst as previously mentioned, Alessandro Del Piero and Richard Garcia act as 2 more playmakers out wide. Filling the shoes as the complete forward is Serbian striker Ranko Despotovic, who scores and also brings the wingers into scoring opportunities. The team hinges a lot on the performances of ADP, who orchestrates the attacks from the left wing.

Predictions

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The Newcastle Jets may have the upper hand in earlier encounters, but in reality this match will be extremely tight. The Jets have won 2 of the past 3 games, including a 3-0 win in December which turned their season around. Sydney FC never really recovered from that loss, but now the 2 teams will be facing eachother in a high pressure environment. The differing styles with offer a great spectacle, as will the sight of Emile Heskey and Alessandro Del Piero fighting it out for the holy grail. In what will be a tight match, I am hard pressed to pick a winner, but my final prediction is Sydney FC 2-1 Newcastle Jets.
ppftt..Sydney win? na mate, CARN JETS!!
Good luck in the final
Best of luck mate!
Good luck mate, still think you will win though!
Thanks for all the support guys, update written up and to be posted shortly
2014-08-15 02:01#189761 fzemdegs : Thanks for all the support guys, update written up and to be posted shortly

Yay :)
Good luck mate, I hope you did it!
Degsy you tease!
joethequin :)

MCox93 Thanks heap for the support!

squirmy :))

The Grand Final

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Pre-Game


Sean-Paul Lodovico

I walk into the changerooms and see the 15 players that will be my everything today. I see diversity and unity in one, I see determination, I see willingness. I see young Alex Henshall, brimming with physical ability but not so confident with his skills. I see Mark Birighitti, relishing in his role as the lifeline of our team. I see Emile Heskey, the father figure of sorts nurturing the younger boys through this momentous occasion. I see my team.

On my arrival, the boys perk up. You can tell they are ready for this; in fact it seems as if they just want to go out there and get it over with. Ruben stands up and greets me, then sits back down in his captain’s spot and concentrates on me.

“This is the day, boys. This is the day legends are born, heroes are made. This is the day that we show Australia why we are here, now, ready to win! This is the day we play to our best ability and if we do that, we win. This is the day where we show this Sydney mob what it means to play football! This is the day that Mark saves every shot thrown at him! This is the day where David’s corner is scored by Taylor, like every single bloody week! This is the day where Alex runs 100 metres in 10 seconds and delivers a masterful cross! This is the day that Emile turns the game on its head just running towards the ball! THIS IS THE DAY, BOYS! Make the most of it.”

My rallying speech seemed to pump the boys up. They screamed in unison, “CARN JETS!” and then, as one, we bundled out of the changerooms and up the corridor to the ground. The Sydney Football Stadium was going to be green and white tonight.

Troy Taylor

I quickly hustled back to my seat, hot dog and Coke in hand. I wouldn’t dare miss a minute of the match, even with this aching hunger. Luckily as I sat down on the plastic, flip down chairs which I had grown to love, both teams were just about to assemble on the pitch and begin the national anthem. I had gotten the best seats in the house, parallel with the centre circle and one tier up. A perfect view of the entire ground. Now, with my Jets scarf wrapped securely around my neck and my snacks under my seat, it was time to watch some football.

Emile Heskey

It was quite a good atmosphere to be honest. I mean, the worst EPL game of a season would have a better atmosphere but when you’ve played in the A-League for 2 years this is quite extraordinary. I had my arms around Ruben Zadkovich and Mark Birighitti, facing the opposition, and we were in the final bars of the Australian national anthem. It was entirely foreign to me of course, but the way the crowd was getting into it was amazing. The final note ended, and the sold-out Sydney Football Stadium burst into a cacophony of cheers and hoots and chanting. Let’s give the Jets fans something to cheer about.

Kick Off


Mark Birighitti

I walk back to the posts, after a rapturous anthem that really got my veins pumping. I tap each post, a bit of a superstition for me, then settle into a comfortable position, ready to play. The referee whistles to signal kick-off, and we’re underway.

From the kick-off, Sydney just pass it around a bit, keeping it off, but then they find Richard Garcia in some space about 5 metres away from the penalty area. Initially, I ready myself for a long shot, but then he passes it off to Del Piero who’s shot whistles over the bar. Luckily for me, as I was nowhere near it.

Troy Taylor

2 minutes in, and I nearly had a heart attack. Carney laid it wide to Henshall, who use his blistering pace to easily get round a defender. He then calmly passed it into Zadkovich who shot beautifully from the edge of the box…. but Janjetovic got to it. Heart in mouth moment there.

Emile Heskey

Already this match is very action packed. I’m standing in the box with a couple of Jets defenders when Zadkovich gets the ball in the middle and simply jogs into a scoring position. His shot looked incredible and I almost yelled in joy, but it cannoned back off the crossbar and they cleared! How are we not winning!

Sean-Paul Lodovico

It’s half time, what a half it was. We should have scored at least twice but Ruben just couldn’t get it just quite right. I had a chat to him before we regrouped and he seemed to shrug it off but he’s really cut up about it. I need to spur the boys on, let them know we can still win this.

“C’mon fellas, group up. This game is not over! They can’t penetrate us boys, and for all they say about us being the defensive team, we are making the chances! We are in control of this game, don’t get your heads down. We can still win this! Alex, you’re running the full back off his feet he just can’t catch you mate! Emile, they’re putting 3 on you at times, they fear you! This mob are scared, boys, they are scared. Lets show them how football is done.”

Half Time Kick Off


Emile Heskey

I stand with the ball at my feet, eyeing off Alessandro. Next to me is Andrew Hoole, and he is ready and anxious to get it started. He’s a great kid, but he needs to relax. All of our team do. I need to calm these blokes down. I roll the ball forward to Andrew, and he passes it back. I run down to my usual markers, Sebastian Ryall and Sasa Ognenovski, and give them a nice sarcastic smile. Now to wait for my moment.

Mark Birighitti

65 minutes in, and Del Piero is taking a corner, which is never a good thing. He swings it in nicely, but Josh Brillante manages to rise up and head it away. I then watch closely as Dimitrijevic’s header is then booted upwards by Chapman, and it seems that Ruben and Matthew Thompson will challenge for it. The ball is about to land, when I almost faint. The shrill piercing whistle wakes me. It’s a penalty, Ruben pushed Matthew Thompson in the back. Time to get ready.

Troy Taylor

“NOOOO!!!!” I scream, in unison with thousands of other Jets fans. Not only was it a stupid foul by our captain, Sydney FC are the worst team to concede a penalty to. For one reason and one reason only.

Mark Birighitti

I studied his posture intensely as Alessandro Del Piero placed the ball down on the spot. I needed some indication of what way he would go. His body language, stance, eye movement, anything, It would take a miracle to stop him; he was simply the best. But I had little time as the master seemed to want to take it swiftly. I breathed in heavily as he comes in to strike the ball. I crouch down, able to dive in either direction and as soon as I see him make contact with the ball I dive to my right…..

And deflect the ball.

Sean-Paul Lodovico

“YOU LITTLE RIPPER!!!!” I yell in delight as Mark saves the penalty and puts it out for a throw-in. Saving a penalty is one thing. Saving an ADP penalty in a Grand Final is another thing entirely and all of my anger over the foul are gone. Hopefully this is the catalyst that will win us the game.

Emile Heskey

Now the subs have been made, and the clock is ticking down with just 8 minutes to go. I can see Sean-Paul is keeping 1 sub in the bank, I think he knows this one will be going to extra time and Farina knows it too because he has 2 subs left. The game has fallen into somewhat of a lull, with players conserving energy for extra time, and sadly I must do the same now. My body is slightly failing, I need to time my impact.

Troy Taylor

The whistle has gone, and now it’s time for extra time. I quickly rush to the bathroom, eager to watch every minute, because now the match will go into hyperdrive. If Newcastle can win from here, it will be the best moment in our history and Birighitti will be remembered as a legend. If not, then his efforts will have been for nothing. I look over the ground as I get back, and see the players who have done so well. Hooley on the right wing, Reggae and Chappie at centre back, and Da Beast up front. Even Taggart is on, despite his shoddy season. But I think the time is now, the Jets can do this. CARN JETS!!!!!!!

Sean-Paul Lodovico

I don’t even have a team talk. Instead, I walk around to everyone in the room and speak to them individually. I tell Birighitti to put in his all, Henshall to run faster than ever before, Heskey to steamroll everything in his path. This is the time that the heroes will shine, and I need the absolute best from everybody. The ref tells me to hurry up, so I quickly speak with Adam Taggart before they go out. He needs the confidence most of all, after his season. We need the confidence.

Extra Time Kick Off


Mark Birighitti

You know it’s the goalkeeper’s hour when you walk back to the posts for a third time. Heck, I was the one who brought us here and I still can’t believe I saved it. But despite his lack of stamina, ADP is staying on and that’s just one more problem for me. But I can do it again, surely?

Emile Heskey

Mark needn’t have worried about goalkeeping, because all 22 players were just too damn tired after a full season to play well in extra time. Even 3 subs didn’t make an impact, although Sean-Paul bringing on a centre back in Kew Jaliens kind of displayed our mentality. I watched in despair as the seconds ticked down and eventually, the ref blew the whistle yet again. The game was going to the drama of penalties.

Sean-Paul Lodovico

This I was ready for. We have showed we can keep our cool in penalty shootouts, and Birighitti showed that Del Piero from a spotkick isn’t so invincible after all. I looked over my list of penalty takers and submitted it to the fourth official, we’d actually practiced penalties before the finals series so I had a good sense of who could do what. Now to see if they could deliver.

Penalties


Troy Taylor

This is any fans worst nightmare. No one can say they enjoy their team going to penalties, because the result is too damn unpredictable. We’ve been so good in penalties but Sydney FC just have so many big names that are renowned for penalties. I can’t look.

Mark Birighitti

My legs are shaking and my mouth is dry. This is like the penalty shootout over the Heart, but ten times more pressure and Del Piero. I need to stop fretting, but this is huge. I could be the saviour, the hero, the legend of the 2014 A-League Grand Final. This is my time to shine.

Sean-Paul Lodovico

My first penalty taker, Connor Chapman, slotted it home. 1-0

Dimitrijevic of Sydney FC did the same. 1-1

The sub Jacob Pepper put the goalie the wrong way, 2-1

Del Piero made up for his earlier blunder and calmly put it past Birighitti. 2-2

Emile Heskey

I sat down with the rest of the team, watching young Adam Taggart walk down to the spot. The score was currently 2-2, and if we scored this one the shootout was going to go down the wire. He didn’t look too nervous, and he was the one that put us through against the Heart, so I was hoping that he could do the same now. He got to the spot, and placed the ball down calmly. He began his long run up, planted his ball underneath the ball on the right side, and booted it into the top left corner. But Vedran Janjetovic went there as well.

Troy Taylor

I watched in horror as Adam Taggart trudged into the changerooms in tears, and with him went our chances of winning. Lodovico looked solemn on the sidelines, perhaps afraid of showing emotion to his team, whilst the players looked on in fear. This was magnified when Richard Garcia stepped up and made the score 3-2 and the Champions Plate was torn from our grasp.

Mark Birighitti

The score is 4-4, and Sydney FC has 2 kicks left to our one. If big central defender Sasa Ognenovski kicks this, they have won the Grand Final and we will be sent home to Newcastle with just a consolation medal.

Sasa begins his run-up, and I see that his body is slightly angled towards my right so I position myself that way. I dive low, looking to stop the ball, but I watch in shame as the ball whistles past my head and into the back of the net. I just want to lay there and be swallowed up by the Earth.

Post Match


Sean-Paul Lodovico

I just don’t know what to say. There is simply no way to recover from this with a simple team talk. This will take weeks of recovery, to erase all thoughts of failure, and to look to the new season. I need to say something, but I just can’t. And that is perhaps the most shameful thing I ever did in my managerial career.

Emile Heskey

I am distraught, utterly distraught. To come so close to ultimate glory and then fail, is just heart-breaking. I cannot begin to comprehend the shame Adam Taggart is feeling right now, having missed a penalty, but I hope he can recover from it because some kids never do. He has a huge potential, so hopefully he shrugs it off and moves on with his career. I for one, am almost done with mine, so this is bitter and I’m hoping not the only chance I get to win in Australia. There’s always next year.

Troy Taylor

I walk out of the stadium struggling to block out the chants and heckling of the proud Sydney FC supporters, who sing, “Taggart is our hero, Jets leave our town with zero!” Now its time for me to take the train back to Newcastle and hope for better next season. We did so well to get here, but failed in the final hurdle. But if after 1 season we go from 8th to 2nd, imagine where we will be next year. CARN JETS!!!

Epilogue


Adam Taggart was always haunted by that ultimate failure, and he was eventually placed on the transfer list after a shocking season. Sean-Paul Lodovico vowed to never remain silent after a game, and gained much respect as a result. Mark Birighitti was undeterred, and his career kept growing. And the Newcastle Jets as a team? Well, you’ll have to keep reading to find out.

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