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Perth-raised duo ready to take on Glory in A-League Grand Final

Returning to his home city and playing against his former club will make next Sunday’s A-League grand final even more special for Sydney FC dynamo Brandon O’Neill.

O’Neill and fellow midfielder Daniel De Silva, who has been used primarily off the bench this season, both grew up in Perth and started their A-League careers at the Glory.

Brandon O'Neill in the Glory colours back in 2012.Brandon O'Neill in the Glory colours back in 2012.
Camera IconBrandon O’Neill in the Glory colours back in 2012.Picture: Getty Images

O’Neill struggled for game time in Perth, playing 17 A-League games in four seasons and starting on just four occasions.

His career ultimately flourished under the stewardship of then-Sydney coach Graham Arnold after he headed east before the 2015-16 season .

O’Neill has made over 20 appearances in each of his first four seasons with the Sky Blues and has been an ever present member of the side in 2018-19 under current coach Steve Corica.

His central midfield partnership with Josh Brillante has become a crucial part of Sydney’s formation and a key factor in the Sky Blues success over the past three seasons.

“l’ll always call Sydney my footballing home because of what the club has done for me, this is where I developed my football,” the 25-year-old said.

“But obviously having family and friends back home in Perth … it’s going to be extra special to play there this week.

“I’m extremely excited, extremely happy for the people of Perth, because football over there has always taken a back seat to AFL and basketball because the Wildcats (NBL), Eagles, the Dockers have always done really well.

“It’s good the Glory have done so well this year because people will be talking about football in Perth rather than talking about other sports, so I just can’t wait to get back.”

Sydney have won two matches and lost one to Perth so far this season.

“People say results in a season don’t matter heading into the finals but I really think they do,” O’Neill said.

“They play on your mind and you look back to the things you did well against them, the things you can obviously improve..

“Looking back at the results, we’ve beaten them there, we’ve beaten them here. It sets us up really nicely for a grand final.”

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