Captain Josh Brillante says winning the FFA Cup would be a massive milestone in Melbourne Victory's rebuild and can help them kick on in the A-League Men.
Less than seven months after Melbourne Victory hit rock bottom, they are one game away from FFA Cup silverware -- but skipper Josh Brillante isn't surprised by the A-League Men club's rapid turnaround.
Melbourne Victory rejuvenation
- The Victorian club were last in the A-League last season, accumulating just 19 points.
- They are currently second in the A-League Men, trailing Western United by a single point.
- One of this year's finalists, Melbourne Victory have previously won the FFA Cup once in 2015.
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Last season's A-League wooden spooners, who had to qualify for the Cup competition via a play-off then went on a barnstorming run, Victory face Central Coast at AAMI Park in Saturday's final.
Brillante was among the plethora of players brought in by new Victory coach Tony Popovic to turn things around and is now eyeing the club's first silverware since the 2017-18 championship.
"It's important for the club to strive to win these sort of things and it's huge for the club as well, especially after the last couple of years being so bad and very quickly it's turned around and now we're in a final," he said.
"So it's massive. It's a great opportunity.
"I knew that there was definitely the possibility of (silverware) with the way the club was rebuilding and the players that they were bringing in.
"Straight from the get go in pre-season, you could see how things were functioning, how things were working, so I'm not surprised at all."
Brillante played in Sydney FC's 2017 Cup triumph, which came amid the Sky Blues' ALM dynasty, and believed silverware on Saturday could help second-placed Victory deliver at the pointy end of their league season.
"It gives you that momentum, that sense of being able to win," he said.
"It's still early in the season really, we've played eight games and it gives you the opportunity to keep that ball rolling.
"In the past, a lot of the teams that have made it to the final have gone on to do well in the season so we're expecting to win this and continue to do well in the league."
Fixture postponements mean Saturday is the first time Victory will face the Mariners this season.
"In hindsight it'll probably be a good thing, playing each other for the first time in the final so that we don't know what each other's like," Brillante said.
The Mariners will be without new signing Jason Cummings, whose bid for a late registration to be able to play in the final was rejected.
"You want to be playing against the best teams and the best players," Brillante said.
"So it's a shame that he won't be playing but that's just the way things are and you've just got to get on with it."
The full A-League Men's schedule can be found using this link.