‘Anyone, Anywhere and Anytime’ – Frustrated City look to refocus ahead of relocated semifinal

Teasing more to say on it at a later date, Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson says his side is adopting an ‘anyone, anywhere, anytime’ mindset after the “utterly disappointing” decision to move their semifinal to Sydney.

Initially set to host Sunday’s semifinal against Macarthur FC at AAMI Park, 2020-21 Premiers City will now be forced to play that fixture at Sydney’s Jubilee Stadium — a 45-minute drive from the Bulls home ground — after the league opted to shift the contest due to COVID-19 restrictions still in effect throughout Melbourne.

While City had been pushing for the game to be played behind closed doors on their home turf, Australian Professional League (APL) officials ultimately decided to move the fixture in order to allow for some semblance of a crowd to attend the fixture.

The possibility that the Bulls, having been in Melbourne, would be prevented from entering South Australia to face Adelaide United in a hypothetical Grand Final meeting between the two sides also played into the decision.

“I share the frustration of Melbourne City and the club’s supporters that the home A-League semifinal they had earned by being Premiers can’t be played at AAMI Park,” said APL Commissioner Greg O’Rourke.

“But with the game due to be played in less than four days, we have had to make the decision to move it to Sydney so that both teams can plan accordingly.

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“Should Melbourne City win through and earn the right to host the A-League 2021 Grand Final, we very much hope that their supporters will be able to attend in person at AAMI Park should restrictions by then allow it.”

City won ten games, drew once and lost twice at home during the 2020-21 regular season, while winning five, drawing three and losing five on the road.

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Jamieson did his best to obfuscate the true extent of his chagrin with the move, but couldn’t prevent some semblance of frustration from seeping through.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” he said. “The decision to take it away from the team that earned it is utterly disappointing. But at the same time, the decision has been made. Greg [O’Rourke] made the decision and that’s on Greg and his team, so it is what it is.

“We move forward and that’s all you can do.

“I have many views but I will choose to air them at a different time. Ultimately, I will say that the team that has finished first hasn’t got a home semifinal and that’s on Greg and his team and they’ve made that decision.

“We let everyone [at City] say their piece yesterday and air their frustrations internally. And then we had a good sleep and now we’re ready.

“All I can say is that ultimately all you guys know, all we know is that we won the league and, essentially, you earn the right to play at home. For some reason that hasn’t been properly disclosed, they’ve moved our game to Sydney.

Scott Jamieson (centre) celebtrates one of his two goals in the 2020-21 season.
Credit: Melbourne City

“What we really think and what I really think we’ll speak on it another day. The ultimate test is that now we’ve got an opposition against Macarthur on Sunday. That game was going to be tough whether it was in Melbourne or in New South Wales.

“We’re going to run with and go with the motto ‘anyone, anywhere, anytime’ and ultimately the feelings that we hold will be aired at a different time.”

Now in his fourth year with City, Sunday not only represents Jamieson’s best chance at a Grand Final in Bundoora — the 32-year-old returning to Victoria in 2019-20 to be with his partner for the birth of their first child — but also his 104th appearance in light blue; surpassing David Williams as its all-time leader in appearances.

Nonetheless, the high stakes and unique circumstances surrounding the Bulls fixture means the City captain has been able to avoid being overawed by the “very special” milestone.

“I’ve spoken about [setting the record] a few times and the achievement of being able to be the most appeared player for Melbourne City is one that is special,” he said.

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“I think it’s easier to do in this situation because there’s a bigger thing at stake here. If it was in a normal league game there would probably be a few more thoughts and emotions on it but the fact that there’s a game of big proportion here kind of has maybe put it to the back of my mind.

“Towards the end of this season and the end of my career, I’ll be able to sit back and look upon it as a fair achievement and one to be very proud of. Especially at a club of this size that demands the best.

“I’m obviously a Blacktown City boy, grew up in that region and have always spoken of my proud moments of being able to play and represent that area. But there’s definitely no hiding that City has become my home in the sense of a great feeling of being around this place and being able to represent the club.

“I’ve found Melbourne an amazing place to live, but also working inside this football club has been fantastic. For me to be able to have the opportunity to call this place home is one I’m grateful for.”

Header Image Credit: Melbourne City

One thought on “‘Anyone, Anywhere and Anytime’ – Frustrated City look to refocus ahead of relocated semifinal

  1. Pingback: Poor form no worries for City’s Kisnorbo ahead of A-League semifinals – JDL MEDIA

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