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Aloisi, United raring for Victory clashes

By Anna Harrington
John Aloisi is just two games away from taking Western Utd to the A-League Men grand final. (AAP)

Western United and John Aloisi are two tantalising games away from a maiden A-League Men grand final, with both club and coach up for the mammoth task against Melbourne Victory.

United beat Wellington 1-0 in their elimination final to qualify for the two-legged semi-final and will face Victory at AAMI Park on Tuesday and Saturday.

"It's huge for the club. Another home final against Victory, that's massive," Aloisi said.

"The players deserve it and the club deserve it because for the whole year we've been in the top two or three so we deserve to be there, along with Victory, and along with City.

"It's massive for the game in Melbourne and we're excited to be there.

"We know it's going to be difficult because Victory are a good side but it's huge, it's over two legs, they're both at AAMI Park. It's another two home finals for us, really."

United have one draw and two losses against Victory this season.

Aloisi has never coached in a grand final but twice reached the final four at Brisbane.

"For myself, the journey's part of it. You have your ups and downs in coaching," he said.

"I'd like to get there of course, but it's more about the team getting there and we've got two important games and two difficult games.

"But this is the first time I'm having a home semi-final or major semi-final. Both times at Brisbane, we played away.

"Whenever we play at home at the moment, the team that I'm coaching wins, so let's hope that's a good omen."

Goalkeeper Jamie Young, who played under Aloisi at Brisbane and followed him to United, hailed the 46-year-old's efforts to take the club from 10th to a semi-final.

"I don't think many people would think that we would be where we are," Young said.

"But I've known the boss probably a decade now and I know what he brings to the table. You're looking at one of the top three coaches in the country and (assistant) Hayden Foxe is right up there as well.

"So we have to give credit to these coaches because, John might sit here and answer your questions, but he's also at the training ground until six o'clock every night and he's the first one in at training as well ... and no-one sees that.

"When you see someone like John or Foxy, where they've had such credentialled playing careers, they're still willing to put their reputation on the line and that's quite inspiring."

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Dive Deeper:
United beat Phoenix, reach ALM semis
Western United have beaten Wellington 1-0 in their A-League Men elimination final to tee up a semi-finals match-up with Melbourne…
A-League Men 2021/22 finals preview: the contenders, the pretenders, and the best of the rest
After a tumultuous season interrupted by border closures, international tournaments, and injuries galore, the A-League Men is finally in the…
ALM history no concern to bullish Aloisi
Wellington Phoenix regain joint top scorer Jaushua Sotirio from injury for Saturday's A-League Men's elimination final against Western United.
Defenders key to all-Melbourne ALM semi
Roderick Miranda and Leo Lacroix will lead Melbourne Victory and Western United's respective defences in their two-leg A-League Men semi-final.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
A-League Men finals: how the contenders for the championship shape up
On paper, Melbourne City have the best team but their cross-town rivals Victory are in red-hot form and don’t rule…
Sheffield United boss makes play-off semi-final prediction for Nottingham Forest clash
Latest Nottingham Forest news from NottinghamshireLive as the Reds gear up for the first leg of their play-off semi-final against…
Get all your news in one place