John Aloisi is hoping Western United’s rise to A-League glory will help its supporter base to grow and he wants to be on staff long-term as it does.
In less than a year, John Aloisi has gone from undesirable, to undeniable, and has done the unthinkable – taking Western United to the championship in his first season at the helm.
Against all odds, Aloisi led United to the promised land and to secure its first-ever piece of silverware, defeating cross-town rivals Melbourne City 2-0 in Saturday evening’s Grand Final.
It caps off an amazing turnaround for Aloisi, who was left in the coaching wilderness for three years prior to taking the United job after being sacked by Brisbane Roar at the end of 2018.
Aloisi reflected on his journey back into the coaching landscape post-game, harkening back to his open heart surgery in 2019, which reminded him about his love for coaching.
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“I was sitting in my hospital bed nearly three years ago and it was more, I want to coach. I need to coach because I know I’ve got a lot more left in me and a lot more to achieve,” Aloisi said.
“I believe that and I was just waiting for the right opportunity and someone to give me that opportunity to coach.
“Then once you’re in a job it’s then it’s not about you, it’s about the team, the club and about what we’re trying to achieve as a club.
“So yes, it’s satisfying on a personal basis, but it’s more satisfying because I see all the hard work that goes into a new club.
“It’s not easy, but this helps success on the pitch helps, it helps you grow quicker. You saw how many fans we had there tonight. That’s great.
“Sometimes we’re playing in Ballarat in front of I don’t know 500 people, so to win this will help us grow as a football club.”
Aloisi hopes winning the championship, along with sustained success beyond this season, will help drive further interest in the club and increase their fledgling fanbase.
“It definitely helps attract players, it definitely helps attract fans,” Aloisi said.
“But look we’re on this journey and we’re going to have a training facility, we’re going to have a stadium.
“What I loved about the players that we signed this year, it wasn’t because they didn’t have anywhere else to go. It was because they wanted to create history.
“We don’t just want to be here just to make up numbers. We’re here to win. And that’s the mentality we had all season.”
The United boss has a year to run on his initial two-year deal but affirmed he would like to stay at the club beyond the end of next season.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask Jason (Sourasis), our chairman,” he said.
“Of course (I’d like to sign an extension). It depends, if everything’s all right, I’d love to. Show me the money!”
Meanwhile, City boss Patrick Kisnorbo said he was proud of how his side fared over the last couple of seasons, which saw them fall just shy of becoming the first team to win back-to-back premierships-championship doubles.
“They’re always going to hurt after a loss,” he said.
“Especially after a grand final like this. But I told them to be proud of themselves. They’ve had a fantastic year. They’ve had a fantastic couple of years.
“Sometimes you need to hurt to grow a bit. I’m sure they’re feeling hurt now but they’ve had a fantastic couple of years, so I couldn’t be much prouder.”