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Grown-up wunderkind Arzani ready for grand final stage

3 minute read

Former Socceroos wunderkind Daniel Arzani has matured and is adamant he and Melbourne Victory can claim the A-League Men championship.

DANIEL ARZANI. Picture: Kelly Defina/Getty Images

Fitter, stronger and more consistent than he's ever been, Daniel Arzani is ready to make the A-League Men grand final stage his own.

The former Socceroos wunderkind has thrived under coach Tony Popovic at Melbourne Victory, playing 30 games and delivering four goals and six assists.

"He's given me the tools that I needed," Arzani said.

"Early on in the season he gave me the physical tools I needed and as the season's progressed, he's really helped me with my mental side of the game and with letting things go.

"Just with being able to move on from actions and certain things not going my way and keeping my head in the game and always staying switched on.

"Because a game can change in one single moment, and you need to always be ready for it."

It's worked.

Arzani's creativity has shone through as he's played a key role to helping the powerhouse to their first grand final in six years, and his first turn on the biggest stage.

Now 25, Arzani is adamant he can step up in the showdown against Central Coast in Gosford on Saturday, and would love to make his mark on the scoreboard.

"It'd be incredible, honestly, I mean, who wouldn't want to score in a grand final?" he said.

"It's a massive game. Especially I'm from Sydney so my family will be down for the game. So yeah, it would be an incredible feeling.

"I love playing in front of a crowd. I love the pressure of a finals game.

"Not just me, I think we have a lot of senior players in the squad as well that are gonna step up to the plate.

"We've got a lot of players that have been involved in finals before and obviously our coach has as well and I just think we're in a really good place.

"We've got a really senior squad and boys that can really weather the storm."

Belief is sky-high at Victory and Arzani has always been sure their quality would shine through at the pointy end of the season.

"Going into the final series right at the beginning, I said 'for sure, I've got a feeling we're gonna go to the finals and win the whole thing'," he said.

Arzani's form has surely lifted him back into Socceroos contention - not that he's thinking about it just yet.

"If it comes, I'd be ecstatic," he said.

"It'd be an honour to represent my country but for now the focus is just on this weekend, getting the 'W'. And then from then, what happens, we'll wait for then."

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