Melbourne Victory fullback Leigh Broxham says he won’t be changing his combative playing style for the A-League grand final this Sunday.
Victory take on Sydney FC in the decider and Broxham is likely to feature at right back. The 27-year-old picked up a yellow card in the 28th minute against Melbourne City, walking a fine line for the rest of elimination final, and has been handed seven yellows in total this season.
But Broxham told FourFourTwo he won’t be altering his robust approach for the match.
“I just go and play my natural game,” he said.
“I’ve had many cards in the past and sometimes you end up playing on the edge in a game and pushing the game to its limits. That’s just how it is. People’s opinions are what the game’s about, everyone has an opinion and I always play the game the way I play it.
“It seems to be going alright for me so far.”
The midfielder-turned-defender is likely to line up against Sky Blues youngster Christopher Naumoff in the grand final.
Naumoff scored one goal in the 4-1 win over Adelaide United and set up another, and Broxham is looking forward to trying to contain the 19-year old and Sydney FC’s in-form forward line.
“He obviously had a good game and made a big impact for them,” Broxham said.
“Arnie’s backed him this year. It’s good he’s doing well and it should be a good challenge for me.
"But that’s as far as you comment on it, you worry about the whole team and if the whole team, from our perspective, do our job properly then I’m sure any individual player from them won’t be a problem.
“You address what they do well and what they do well as a team just to try and give yourself the upper hand, or give yourself an idea of what they’re going to do.
“Anything past that you more worry about yourselves and us performing well and sticking to our structures that we usually do and usually things will take care of themselves.”
Broxham has played in two grand finals with Victory before, coming off the bench in the 6-0 drubbing of Adelaide United in 2007, and suffering a penalty shootout loss to Sydney FC in 2010.
Despite his big game experience, the defender believes every final is different but admits this one has an additional bonus in it being against Victory’s Big Blue rivals.
“It’s not easy,” Broxham said.
“Everyone’s different, every grand final’s different. I haven’t been able to play in one for five years now and it was a losing one so it shows you that it can be few and far between.
“When it comes there’s always going to be some twist or some bit of luck for one of the teams, you just have to keep riding it out.
“Maybe a little bit that it’s against Sydney, we’ve had a rich history with them. That adds to the situation and the occasion. But I think any grand final, how hard a team actually has to work to make a grand final, it’s very hard to get there.
“So whoever and however you get there it’s a special occasion in itself.”
Controversially, the grand final will be played at AAMI Park, Victory’s regular home ground, with Etihad Stadium unavailable. Broxham feels it will be a special occasion at the 30,050-seater venue.
“It doesn’t need me to say it’s a big game,” he said.
“It’s probably a rare occasion that AAMI Park will have a grand final so the people that are going to be there are probably to witness a one-off final at AAMI Park.
"It’s where we get changed, all the facilities we use. It’s our training ground as well so we’re there every day.
“All the boys love playing there, they love playing at either ground, it doesn’t really faze them. Playing it at AAMI Park is great for the boys as well.”comments