Aloisi, United raring for Victory clashes

·2-min read

Western United and John Aloisi are two tantalising games away from a maiden A-League Men grand final, with both club and coach up for the mammoth task against Melbourne Victory.

United beat Wellington 1-0 in their elimination final to qualify for the two-legged semi-final and will face Victory at AAMI Park on Tuesday and Saturday.

"It's huge for the club. Another home final against Victory, that's massive," Aloisi said.

"The players deserve it and the club deserve it because for the whole year we've been in the top two or three so we deserve to be there, along with Victory, and along with City.

"It's massive for the game in Melbourne and we're excited to be there.

"We know it's going to be difficult because Victory are a good side but it's huge, it's over two legs, they're both at AAMI Park. It's another two home finals for us, really."

United have one draw and two losses against Victory this season.

Aloisi has never coached in a grand final but twice reached the final four at Brisbane.

"For myself, the journey's part of it. You have your ups and downs in coaching," he said.

"I'd like to get there of course, but it's more about the team getting there and we've got two important games and two difficult games.

"But this is the first time I'm having a home semi-final or major semi-final. Both times at Brisbane, we played away.

"Whenever we play at home at the moment, the team that I'm coaching wins, so let's hope that's a good omen."

Goalkeeper Jamie Young, who played under Aloisi at Brisbane and followed him to United, hailed the 46-year-old's efforts to take the club from 10th to a semi-final.

"I don't think many people would think that we would be where we are," Young said.

"But I've known the boss probably a decade now and I know what he brings to the table. You're looking at one of the top three coaches in the country and (assistant) Hayden Foxe is right up there as well.

"So we have to give credit to these coaches because, John might sit here and answer your questions, but he's also at the training ground until six o'clock every night and he's the first one in at training as well ... and no-one sees that.

"When you see someone like John or Foxy, where they've had such credentialled playing careers, they're still willing to put their reputation on the line and that's quite inspiring."

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