Sky Blues skipper times his run
TIMING is everything in playing football. Even the timing of when to stop playing football.
When Alex Brosque sat down with Steve Corica on April 3 to confirm he would be retiring at the end of the season, the Sydney FC head coach asked Brosque to keep the decision to himself, deliberately not telling his teammates and friends.
Until almost a fortnight later, that is, addressing the team three days before Sydney played Perth at the SCG in a game that had the potential to be decisive in terms of the rest of the campaign.
Had Sydney lost to the Premiers, a side who had suffered only one defeat by that point, Melbourne Victory were poised to snatch second place.
Instead the Sky Blues won by a single goal, the players evidently determined to extend their captain's final season right to the end.
It worked in the semi-final too, to spectacular effect, leaving Brosque with one last A-League game to go - the small matter of a grand final.
But there won't be a Henry V-like address to his teammates on Sunday in the moments before kick off, from a captain determined to make the game about the club and no individual, not even a retiring captain.
"I understand why Stevie wanted to wait a couple of weeks before I told the boys - maybe to give them a bit of extra drive and determination for the last few weeks of the season," Brosque said.
"But now that we are at the stage we are, it's important that each of the boys goes out there to win it for themselves and for their families.
"I've enjoyed the ride, and I've been fortunate enough to win a couple of championships but there are some of the boys who haven't yet.
"It's for them and their families, the people who make all those sacrifices that are necessary in the life of a professional athlete."
In some ways it will be a relief for Brosque to board a flight on Friday morning to Perth, and switch into grand final mode after the myriad commitments in Sydney.
"I think once we're in Perth it'll hit me," he said. "The last time I'll be rooming with Wilko, the last time I'm on an away trip.
"I'll try to take a few moments to soak it up before the game, at what I believe is a fantastic stadium. It's a good way to end it."