Since joining the club, the coach's mantra has rarely strayed far from aggressiveness. 

The French boss is widely speculated to be taking the reigns at new City Football Group project Troyes FC, in the French Ligue 2, as the CFG shuffle the pack with their newly esteemed coach.


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This will leave Patrick Kisnorbo, who has proven his weight at W-League level, an optimistic appointment for City's future.

But most important will prove the legacy Mombaerts has been able to leave at a club that when he started, was suffering from a serious case of failure to launch.

There were glimpses of the City of old in their nailbiting A-League semi-final against Western United - all glamour, no grit - but crucially, they were able to shake off four missed semi-final opportunities in the last nine years and finally make it count.

“In the first half, we didn’t play well enough,” Mombaerts admitted. “We had a lack of aggressiveness to regain the ball high.

“I want to congratulate Western United because they did well. They were well organised defensively. It was difficult to overcome and break their defensive block.

“In the second half, we just corrected a few things. We increased our level of aggressiveness, which was better, and we created some chances.

“In this kind of game, when you score first, you have a great chance to win and it happened like that.”

Tellingly, Mombaerts is now beginning to speak about the future for the club. He's avoided questions about his own future, but when it comes to that of Melbourne's oft-forgotten sleeping giant, he can tell there's something building.

“This season is fantastic,” he said. “We reached a cup final, we finished in the second position and we win the semi-final.

“We won a lot of games – but sometimes we lead easily and sometimes we let the opponents restart but [on Wednesday] we showed we were strong mentally.

“I think that helps maybe for the future. This season shows this team can do very well.”


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