In-form striker Patrick Antelmi says he is devastated to miss the NPL NSW grand final because of suspension and believes the red card he was given in the semi-final was unfair.
Antelmi was sent off in the first half of Sydney United 58's 3-1 win over Wollongong after a foul on Harry Taranto sparked a melee.
Players rushed in for the all-in-brawl and following the incident, both Antelmi and Wolves' player Thomas James were shown red cards.
"I am very devastated to not be out on the pitch with my teammates to help them bring the trophy home," he told FTBL.
"But I know the boys will get the job done without me there, no doubt about it. I don’t think it [the red card] was fair. But nothing I can do about it now. Unfortunately my challenge was the start to a horrific incident that occurred after.
"Any other day I would of been shown a yellow at the most."
The 26-year-old has been in sensational form for Sydney United 58, bagging 10 goals in just eight games, after rejoining the club following a spell with A-League club Western United.
"I love being at this club, they're always so welcoming and passionate," he said.
"Everyone around it and involved make it a family orientated club. I’m also enjoying my football since Ive been back and I think that’s showed with my performances this season."
The former Portsmouth, Leeds, Wolves and Wigan youth team forward is confident his team can get the job done in the grand final against Rockdale without him.
"The boys are looking great and all in high spirits," he said.
"They know it won’t be an easy game but they are also calm and collected. It will be a great game that’s for sure."
Antelmi made just one appearance in the A-League for Western United.
But the striker says he loved his time with the Victorian outfit, and he could return to the A-League for the 2020-2021. If not, Edensor Park is where he wants to be.
"It was great, I took a lot from that short period from great players and the environment I was in," he said.
"I am very thankful to Rudds [Mark Rudan] for giving me that opportunity.
"There has been a few things in the background but nothing has been confirmed. If I’m not gone [back to the A-League] I don’t see myself putting on any other jersey [than Sydney United 58]."