Jamie Coyne knows what it takes to win a championship. He was involved in Perth Glory's last Grand final victory back in the NSL and he’s confident Perth can start their first A-League finals series with a win in Wellington over the Phoenix on Sunday.
Jamie Coyne knows what it takes to win a championship. He was involved in Perth Glory's last Grand final victory back in the NSL and he-s confident Perth can start their first A-League finals series with a win in Wellington over the Phoenix on Sunday.
Coyne played in the 2003/04 NSL grand final win against the Parramatta Power and has been with the Glory since the inaugural A-League season, but this Sunday's clash against Wellington will be his and the team's first taste of finals action in the competition.
It turns out to be the longest possible trip for Perth to make to play in Wellington and that is made even tougher with the fact that the Phoenix have not lost at Westpac Stadium since going down to Queensland Roar on October 26 early on in the 2008/09 season.
Despite the odds being seemingly stacked against the Glory, Coyne remains confident that Perth can get the result and stay alive in the finals.
"Big deal that they've won a lot of games over there. That's all in the past and finals football is different. It's a one off game and we'll be going over there trying to frustrate them and get a couple of goals," Coyne said.
"If we can do that and nullify their best players we are pretty confident. Everyone is going on about the distance we have to travel and everything, but we are happy to be going over there and are looking forward to it.
"It's been something over the last four or five years that it's been disappointing not to do. It's a little achievement along the way for the club and looking at the big picture hopefully we can win this weekend and go again the next weekend."
Jamie's older brother Chris, along with Jacob Burns and Mile Sterjovski look set to return from injury. Burns appears over a slight tear in his hamstring and trained strongly on Tuesday, while Chris Coyne should be over a corked thigh and Sterjovski moved freely after having a sore back.
"There's a couple of boys who have been injured and all of a sudden they are feeling better and those niggles are going away," he said.
"Any niggles are feeling better now miraculously and he (Burns) trained well today. Chris and Mile were on the sidelines doing a fair bit of running, but I think they are all pretty confident about getting on the plane."
Even if making the trip to Wellington isn-t ideal for the Glory, Coyne isn-t interested in making any excuses and is looking forward to the challenge of trying to snap the Phoenix's home undefeated run in front of a parochial New Zealand crowd.
"It's not the best trip and we'd prefer to play at home, but we'll travel three or four days beforehand and we'll be acclimatised by the time the game starts. They will have a big crowd, but that will be good," he said.
"The conditions there are always a bit wet and windy, but we've travelled over there twice this year already and we are pretty much used to it by now.
"They've gone a year and-a-half without being beaten at home and our away record's not the best, but this is the time to change it. They are confident playing at home, but we are also confident about going over there and getting the result going our way."
Coyne looks back on fondly on his success with the Glory in the old NSL, but has certainly noticed how the A-League has taken the game to new levels in Australia.
"Back then Perth was a professional club where we were full-time, but there was a lot of clubs that weren-t," he said.
"We played Parramatta and they themselves were probably paying higher than what the salary cap is these days so they had a lot of good players, as we did. In terms of attention and media, the A-League has grown from strength to strength every year so there is a bit of a difference."