If anyone should have extra motivation to be victorious in Sunday’s Westfield W-League Grand Final at AAMI Park it is surely Melbourne City’s Marianna Tabain.
The wide midfielder was an integral member of the Perth Glory side which stumbled at the final hurdle last season. The Glory enjoyed a stunning regular season campaign, only to suffer defeat on the big day as Canberra United took the championship back to the nation’s capital.
Tabain, as much as anyone, will be keen to ensure history doesn’t repeat. “Yes definitely,” says Tabain when asked if she is keen to atone for last year’s disappointment.
“Last year we came really close and we had a fantastic group. I’m hoping that this time around, it will be a different outcome for me personally and also the club. It is a great chance for the club to create history.”
Melbourne City, of course, have set all sorts of benchmarks in their first Westfield W-League season. They romped to the premiership in style winning each of their 12 regular season matches, posting a remarkable tally of 38 goals in the process.
Yet, somehow Brisbane Roar managed to hold out against City in Monday’s semi-final forcing the match to penalties following a scoreless, albeit dramatic, 120 minutes.
The match will go down as a bone-fide Westfield W-League classic, but for City it was perhaps a wake-up call.
“It was a very intense game (on Monday),” said Tabain. “The crowd were behind us which created a wonderful atmosphere and it is exciting times.
“I think we created a lot of chances and at the end of the day Brisbane Roar defended really really well. It wasn’t our best team performance but we stuck at it throughout all 120 minutes, and we stuck by each other and fought to the end, so we take that out of it. If you can win on a bad days, that is something that is always a positive.”
The Perth-raised Tabain had been a regular fixture for the Glory since the league’s maiden season way back in 2008. However, the 23-year-old decided to make the big move this season, and the decision has paid off handsomely.
Always with a penchant for spectacular long-range goals, Tabain has struck seven times this season to be one of the league’s leading scorers.
“I spoke to (City coach) Joe (Montemurro) about his vision and where the club was heading,” said Tabain. “The club’s standards were definitely appealing.
“I also wanted to get out of Perth to try something new and challenge myself. It was a fantastic opportunity to develop myself as a player and as a person.”
Westfield W-League 2016 Grand Final
Melbourne City v Sydney FC
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Sunday 31 January 2016
LIVE on Fox Sports and ABC TV
Tickets from Ticketek