Western United star Ben Garuccio says there will be no room for sentiment when he comes up against some good friends in the A-League grand final clash against Melbourne City.
Western are priced at 9/4 to win the grand final and for Garuccio that will be a special moment after watching on from the sidelines last year.
Garuccio was part of the Melbourne City squad that won the premiership/championship double but he had to watch on from the bench as they beat Sydney FC in the big dance.
The left-back moved on in search of regular first-team football and it has paid off for him. He has been a regular in a Western side that has surprised many by making it all the way to the grand final.
"It's obviously a little bit different because I knew that with all being well, within the team last season, I probably wasn't going to start the game, which is always a little bit different," Garuccio told reporters.
"I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch, but I'm hoping to play a big part this Saturday. I'm friends with a lot of those boys, but come Saturday, there will be no friendships for that 90 or 120 minutes."
Western have had an outstanding season under the leadership of new boss John Aloisi. They finished third on the ladder in the regular season and now have a shot at winning the grand final.
"We were written off before we even kicked a ball this year, we weren't tipped to make the finals by any of the experts,” Garuccio added. "But we weren't really interested in what anyone else was saying, we were focused on what was happening here and that's had us in a good position throughout the whole year."