Melbourne Victory defender Rhys Williams says there was a strange feeling of optimism at the club before they went into the finals, and now he's celebrating his first ever medal of his career.
Victory are the A-League champions of season 2017/18 and most of the players have admitted they did not have the best start to the campaign.
Victory finished fourth and had to knock off both of the top two teams - Sydney FC in the semi-final and Newcastle Jets in the Grand Final.
Williams said there wasn’t necessarily a feeling of vindication, more a feeling of confidence in the playing group.
“We knew we had it in us, but it just never came out,” Williams said.
“It came out in patches and we went out on a great run in the middle of the season, it just died off a bit and then we picked it up towards the end again.
“Going into all three games, we knew we were going to win. It’s a strange feeling, I haven’t had it much as a professional, but you could feel the mood in the camp was unbelievable.”
The Big V’s Championship triumph did not come without controversy as the VAR failed to rule out Kosta Barbarouses’ offside goal.
FFA then released a statement conceding there was a technological error the following morning.
Despite the scrutiny it has put on both Victory and the Jets, Williams said it hadn’t marred their celebrations.
“Maybe we can take the VAR out now, no one is thinking about it anymore, we’ve got these (medals) around our necks and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
“We felt good going into the night, we felt amazing and prepared well as normal. We went in with high spirits and it showed.”
Williams has played his longest season since 2011, but was unable to partake in the final two games with a leg injury which occurred in the warm-up of the semi-final.
With the vast experience he has in England, Williams said he had no intentions of leaving the A-League, despite his successful season.
“You never cancel anything out, I feel like I left England and Europe on bad terms, so if something did come up you never know,” Williams admitted.
“I’m not actively looking to move, I love it here, this is the biggest club, I’ve already captained them and we have a trophy, so why wouldn’t I stay?
"Then again, if something pops up and there’s unfinished business, who knows? Right now, I’m extremely happy here and I’ve got another year, so we’ll see how that goes.
“I enjoyed every minute, I missed a few games through suspension. Leroy George is a deserved winner of the Victory Medal, he had a great season and he helped us through the tough times.”