Berisha warming up for A-League feast

Come A-League finals time, there's nobody like Besart Berisha.

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(Getty Images) Source: Getty Images

The forward showed his big-stage pedigree once again on Sunday night, scoring to send Melbourne Victory to the grand final.

Incredibly, it was Berisha's sixth straight goal in finals appearances for both Victory and his former club, Brisbane Roar.

Not since the Roar's 2013 semi-final loss to Western Sydney has the Kosovo international failed to score during a play-off match.

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It's a quality that stands as Victory's greatest asset ahead of their grand final with Sydney FC.

"This is my job," Berisha said.

"I love to score goals especially in the finals (and) I'm so thankful I did."

If you throw in the 2015 FFA Cup final, won by Victory 2-1, that run is seven games.

Berisha said succeeding in finals was all about desire - which Victory showed from the outset against Brisbane.

"It comes down to who is ready and who wants it and who plays better football," he said.

"We approached the game with the right mentality to win ... every duel we won. Every tackle we won.

"If we play like this (against Sydney) we will have a great chance."

Victory face an uphill battle against Sydney FC but Berisha said he could see an advantage in his team's experience.

Nine players involved in Victory's match-day squad from the 2015 grand final win over Sydney FC - Lawrence Thomas, Leigh Broxham, Nick Ansell, Daniel Georgievski, Carl Valeri, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Jason Geria, Rashid Mahazi and Berisha - are still at the club.



Berisha said it would mean Victory would be ready for the emotions of grand final day.

"Finals are unique. It's a special game. All the stats are not important any more," he said.

"We have experienced players in our team that have played in finals and have scored in finals.

"Not just in the A-League but in the Socceroos too. That will be a key - who is in the end experienced and ready on the night."


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Published 1 May 2017 at 1:45pm