Fresh from scoring both goals in his new team’s first win of the Korea Republic season, new Suwon Samsung Bluewings hero Matt Jurman is tipping former club Sydney FC to go all the way in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
The defender joined Suwon in January, leaving the Sky Blues midway through a very successful season.
In the end, Sydney finished 17 points clear of Melbourne Victory in second to seal top spot with weeks remaining.
The Sky Blues now must stave off the challenge of a resurgent Perth Glory this Saturday at Allianz in the semi final to earn a spot in the grand final against either Victory or Roar.
“I am sure that ‘Arnie’ [coach Graham Arnold] will drive them forward to the end of what has already been a very big season,” Jurman told www.a-league.com.au.
“Having been there and knowing the boys and the coaching staff, they will think they can go on and win it. I am sure that the boys will get the job done.”
Jurman may be thousands of kilometers away but has been keeping a close eye on goings on in Sydney.
“Sydney have been playing good football. They have to win it after everything such a great season they have done this season, they have played really well. Arnie has done a great job.”
The key to the team’s consistency this season, according to the defender is the desire.
“There is a real hunger to have success and to keep the wins coming. Not only that, there are plenty of great players not playing and competition is so high.”
Jurman made 11 appearances this season for Sydney before his move north.
“I was at Sydney most of my career and was proud to play there.”
Never more so than this season. “To see what the boys have done, it is great to play a part in that.”
It is possible that Jurman will see his former team-mates in the 2018 AFC Champions League.
It would be special he admits but is focused on helping his new team get to the knockout stage of the 2017 version.
With two games remaining, the Bluewings, who won two Asian championships at the start of the century, can progress with just a draw against Kawasaki Frontale of Japan on Tuesday.
First though, the team needs to improve its domestic form. “We have been playing well in the cups, the AFC Champions League and the FA Cup, and need to start picking up points in the K-League.”
The defender helped the Bluewings do just that on Saturday, scoring both goals as Suwon came from behind to win 2-1 at Gangwon FC.
“It was great to score the first and then to get the second that won the game was the icing on the cake. The points are the most important thing and we need to keep moving up the table.”
Overall, it has been as exciting a three months for Jurman as it has for Sydney FC.
“Everything is still new and everything is different – training, games and the formation as we play a back three here.
“It has been a challenge and I think I have adapted quite well. I am enjoying it.”