Wilkinson was a young defender on the way up when the Mariners lost 1-0 to the Dwight Yorke-inspired Sydney FC in season one of the Hyundai A-League.

Two years later he was skipper when Central Coast was edged out in another thrilling decider by Newcastle Jets.

While admitting Brisbane Roar are on a brilliant run and will start favourites, Wilkinson is confident his side has what it takes to cause a boilover on Sunday.

In five meetings this season the Mariners are yet to beat Roar, but two of the past three matches have ended in draws - and the Mariners had great chances to win both games.

"A few of us have been in a Grand Final before and the Roar boys haven't, that's an advantage for us," Wilkinson said.

"They are on one of the best runs (27 games unbeaten) in Australian football history but it has to end sometime, hopefully it will on Sunday.

"As far as we're concerned all the pressure is on them. No one expects them to lose, including the players.

"We've got to take it to them early and put them under pressure. They'll have a packed house expecting them to win."

Despite not beating Roar this year, Wilkinson said the Mariners took huge confidence out of the three recent matches against the Queenslanders.

In the second leg of the major semi-final at Suncorp the Mariners led 2-0 before the home side scored two goals in the second half.

He added: "If we play the way I know we can I'm confident we can beat them."