Newcastle star Dimi Petratos says the "amazing" home support during tomorrow night's Grand Final against Melbourne Victory will feel like the Jet's have a 12th man.
With two wooden spoons over the previous three seasons and no finals football for eight A-League campaigns, the full force of the infamous “Newcastle” chant hasn’t reverberated around the Hunter that often.
But come Saturday night a sold-out McDonald Jones Stadium will be rocking to the sounds of 30,000 mostly-screaming Jets fans as they hope to inspire Newcastle’s first Grand Final win since the 2007-08 Championship season.
One of Newcastle’s favourite adopted son’s, Dimi Petratos, told FourFourTwo he was looking forward to playing in the decider in-front of the Jet's parochial support.
“The home fans are going to be amazing,” he said.
“The game where we beat Sydney FC earlier in the season we had amazing fans during that game.
“But the semi-final last week was even better than that. They were louder, more excited, it was amazing. I feel like they’re our 12th man.”
While home advantage can make a difference, Newcastle defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley said playing the decider in their own backyard doesn’t mean they're going to take the challenge of Melbourne Victory lightly.
“We’re playing in a home Grand Final and I’m not saying that it gives us any huge advantage or anything, but we’re here on our merits,” he said.
“One of the good things about this team is that we’re pretty grounded. We haven’t got too high after big wins, we haven’t got too low after bad losses.
“Which is why I think we responded in a good way after three losses on the trot earlier in the season.
“It started from our coaching staff and our head coach with that message and it’s no different heading into this game.”
Meanwhile Jets captain Nigel Boogaard has dismissed any suggestions that Victory will be tired after playing 120 minutes in last weekend’s 3-2 semi-final win over Sydney FC.
“If you go through extra-time like that it’s going to take its effect but at the end of the day you don’t get to play in a Grand Final that many times in your career,” he said.
“I’m sure they’ve had a long week and they’ll be recovered for the game.
“I don’t think you could even put that into your mind, the adrenaline of a Grand Final and the opportunity to lift that trophy means that tired legs will not cross anyone’s mind.”