Melbourne City’s Marianna Tabain is on the verge of something truly special. She is not only about to play in her third successive Westfield Grand Final, but will do so wearing the away team colours in her beloved Perth.
Wearing the iconic Glory colours two years ago, Tabain suffered the anguish of defeat in what was the club’s only Grand Final appearance until this season. A move to new club Melbourne City was a step into the unknown, but ended with championship glory.
A Perth Glory original from the maiden Westfield W-League season back in 2009, Tabain remains a genuine local star in the club annals. Heading into this season, the wide midfielder was second on the club’s list of highest goalscorers and most appearances.
“Perth is always a little bit part of me, but that I guess that changes a little when you join a new club,” said Tabain. “It is weird but we are there to do a job.
“In saying that, I am still friends with a lot of the girls so it will be an emotional game for me. In front of family and friends, and in my old home stadium, it will be a little bit weird but I’m looking forward to it.”
Tabain will have plenty of family support at nib Stadium on Sunday, most with slightly divided loyalties after years of cheering on the team in purple.
“I’m excited about playing in front of them, and I’m fortunate to have that in my favour.
“Pretty much they have been (Glory fans for many years). That might have changed a bit in the last couple of years,” Tabain adds with a laugh.
Though still only 24, Tabain recently became just the second player to top 100 appearances in the Westfield W-League. That stat alone says much about her quality and consistency.
Such is Tabain’s value she was not only picked up by big-name City last year, but managed a first Grand Final win.
But will that experience be of value in the heat of battle come Sunday.
“I think it helps,” Tabain says. “Most of the girls were part of this squad last year.
“Some of the Perth players have had similar experiences so there is experience on both sides.
“I think we have hit form at the right time, so we are hoping we can keep that going against Perth.
“We have stuck with how our (coach) Jess (Fishlock) has wanted us to play. We feel comfortable with each and it is all working at the right time.
“Perth have a lot of great players so the challenge for us will be keeping them quiet.”
Westfield W-League Grand Final
Perth Glory v Melbourne City
Sunday 12 February 2017
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-off 4:30pm Local, 7:30pm AEDT
Tickets on sale at www.w-league.com.au/tickets from Tuesday, 7 Feb at 9am Local, 12 midday AEDT
The best is yet to come! #WLeagueFinals #BeRemarkable
The Westfield W-League 2017 Grand Final will be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports and ABC TV.