|By BREN O'BRIEN
The man who has overseen the past two A-League grand final wins will not even be watching Sunday's decider between the Western Sydney Wanderers and the Central Coast Mariners.
Such is Ange Postecoglou's disappointment about not being part of the biggest game of the year, the Melbourne Victory coach is unlikely to tune in on Sunday, despite describing grand final day as the most important day of the year for Australian football fans.
"I'm not really sure if I'll watch," he told a Melbourne Victory business lunch on Friday.
"I'll tape it and I'll see how I feel, but I'm not good with that sort of thing.
"Obviously, we've got commitments post season but I would have been much happier flying straight out of Gosford and somewhere where there was no television or media to tell me what's going on."
Victory's coach did talk up the concept of a grand final, saying it was time to end discussion about who was the rightful champion from the season.
"I really hope that this year is the final year that we have a debate about who the champions are. The champions will be the team that wins on Sunday. I think it's really important for us as a code to start recognising that the champion club comes from grand final day," he said.
"That's taking nothing away from the Premiers' Plate. But in every code in our country, and it's an Australian league followed by the Australian sporting public, we love our finals. We love grand final day and that's where the champions going to come from."
Postecoglou's disappointment with Victory's exit from the finals is still palpable and as a result the players will continue to train over the next couple of weeks.
"Without putting a downer on things, I don't really feel like congratulating myself on the year. We fell just short. 99.9 percent there is not good enough and we understand," he said.
"We have made some progress. There's certainly been a solid foundation to build toward the success this club deserves.
"We had our challenges this year, but the one shining light was we kept at it and kept battling away. There was enough there this year to build some real promise for the future."
Assistant coach Kevin Muscat, Victory's two-time grand final winning captain, was more effusive in his assessment of the team's development this season.
"We'd all agree that we've made some big steps forward this season, not only in terms of the position on the ladder but there's a distinctive way which Melbourne Victory go about their business on the football field now. Everyone can see that," Muscat said.
"It's certainly been a massive learning experience for all of us. We look forward to getting better."