Throughout the season Wellington Phoenix have sent the league an ominous warning, but on the weekend, they shoved this down our throats.
A 4-1 smashing of a reinvigorated Newcastle Jets – without star player Roy Krishna – has confirmed the Phoenix won’t just be making up the numbers in the finals but are the real deal.
Seeing Andrew Durante lift the Championship on Grand Final night would not only complete the ultimate the fairytale but would be the greatest rags to riches story seen in the A-League.
A Wellington Phoenix Grand Final win would be the A-League’s version of Leicester City winning the Premier League.
It seemed unthinkable for a club whose existence is still undecided, struggled to fill stadiums and could hardly win at home let alone away, could be in contention to lift silverware.
Mark Rudan has built a culture around defying the odds and proving the doubters wrong and it shows every time the players step out.
Roy Krishna has become one the league’s best – currently leading the Golden Boot – and David Williams has become one of the competitions most dangerous players after being plucked from obscurity.
Sarpreet Singh continues to reach new heights and their depth is as good as anyone’s.
No longer are Wellington the team incapable of winning away – having only lost two matches on the road this season.
Similarly, their form at home has equally improved.
Last season Wellington had the eighth best record at home – only winning four out of their 13 home matches.
Fast forward nearly 12 months and the club has turned Westpac Stadium into a fortress – having the second-best home record in the league after 23 rounds.
As the current table stands, the club will host a final for the first time since 2014/15 when they lost to Melbourne City in an Elimination Final in front of 10,171.
While securing a home final would be ideal, it is not as though the club would be fazed having to travel considering their record away from home against some of the league’s big hitters.
There is still plenty of football still to be played but one cannot help but get excited for this new look Phoenix and how far they can go.