Ex-Sky Blue Brillante raring for GF clash

Melbourne City captain Josh Brillante is ready to go toe-to-toe with his former Sydney FC teammates in Sunday's A-League grand final.

JOSHUA BRILLANTE of Sydney passes the ball during the A-League match between Sydney FC and the Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia.
JOSHUA BRILLANTE of Sydney passes the ball during the A-League match between Sydney FC and the Brisbane Roar at Allianz Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Brett Hemmings/Getty Images

Fifteen months after winning a grand final with Sydney FC, Josh Brillante will be looking to bring his former team undone when he captains Melbourne City in Sunday's A-League grand final.

Brillante enjoyed three stellar seasons at Sydney, winning two championships, two Premiers Plates and an FFA Cup before moving south before the start of this season.

"I won a lot of trophies there and had good memories there, so it's a great opportunity for an exciting challenge," Brillante told reporters on Friday.

"I know that they've been in finals before and won and so it just makes it all that better, that next level, if we get the win."

City beat Sydney 2-0 earlier this month, after losing 2-1 in December.

Key midfielder Brillante was confident his team could once again go toe-to-toe with the Sky Blues and backed City to deliver if, as expected, the season decider was a "physical" contest at Bankwest Stadium.

"(Sydney) play the same style year in year out, no matter what team they've played," he said.

"So it comes down to executing on the game day - and if you're up for the battle and physicality-wise you want to get in their faces, you can match it with them and beat them like we did last time."

Key to City's hopes of securing a maiden title will be shutting down Serbian playmaker Milos Ninkovic, who is instrumental to Sydney's ruthless attack.

"He's quite a smooth player so we'll be looking to get in his face and not letting him get his confidence up and try and run the show," Brillante said.

"So that'll be a big part of (our plan), is not letting him do his thing."

Beyond his knowledge of Sydney FC, Brillante - the stand-in skipper after Scott Jamieson's return to Melbourne - can also bless his current teammates with something he has in spades: big game experience.

"I'm just trying to tell them to enjoy the experience and to take it on," the 27-year-old said.

"A lot of people sometimes don't get that many opportunities to be in these sort of games.

"They're not the same as your league matches where 90 minutes is done and you've got next week.

"This is it, these are the big games.

"This is what you play for all year and these are the games (where) you make those memories."