A-League Grand Final: Pragmatic Popovic v meticulous Mulvey

Goal Australia puts the two coaches under the microscope ahead of Sunday's eagerly anticipated season decider

Just as their respective teams are quite different, so too are the men in charge of this season's A-League grand finalists.

Brisbane Roar boss Mike Mulvey was deservedly named the coach of the year on Monday night, a year after the Western Sydney Wanderers' Tony Popovic won the award.

The two men share the characteristic of being relatively understated, but there are endless differences.

One is a perfectionist, the other a pragmatist.

One prefers to attack, the other defend.

One loves possession, the other doesn't have a preference.

And in most discussions, one is quite open, the other mostly closed.

If you haven't worked out it yet, the first is Mancunian Mulvey, the second 'Popa'.

Even after eight wins from their opening 10 games, the Roar boss could pick out few performances he was genuinely happy with.

The Wanderers scraped into the all-important second place thanks to two late goals against the bottom side, and that belief and winning culture pleases Popovic.

As Mulvey continued, and tinkered with, something built by Ange Postecoglou, Popovic had to do the building from scratch.

Both are tough tasks – easily overdone and often underdone respectively.

Rado Vidosic may have taken on the near-impossible role post-Postecoglou at Suncorp Stadium, yet Mulvey managed to steady the sinking ship.

Popovic had already laid the foundations at the A-League's newest club, who were expected to be fighting to avoid bottom in their debut season.

Mulvey somehow rescued the Roar's season as they reached the semi-finals, beaten by the Wanderers.

The other overshadowed – and deservedly so – the Englishman's achievements as the Wanderers claimed the Premier's Plate, only to lose the grand final.

One led his team to a deserving Premier's Plate in 2013-14, and his side will enter the grand final as favourites.

But perhaps the biggest difference separating the two men will be revealed on Sunday evening.

Who will be willing to take a calculated risk, at the right time, and make the move that proves to be the difference?

One, or the other, will have an A-League championship medal to show for their efforts. And we can't wait to find out who.