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Jada Whyman fights back tears after second A League grand final success

Jarred Cross -

Jada Whyman gave a tearful speech on claiming her second A League championship trophy in as many years on Saturday night. 

Sydney FC backed up their ‘22/23 triumph to survive an offensive onslaught from Melbourne City for a 1-nil victory - courtesy of Shae Connors 68th-minute strike off the bench against the run of play at AAMI Park. 

City controlled more than 70 per cent of posession and directed 13 shots to Sydney’s 3 towards goal with Whyman notching her 11th clean sheet for the season to clinch the win. 

Whyman started her night with a clutch one-on-one save in the sixth minute, and kept her net empty amid desperate late attempts from the hosts with the help of teammates deep in their own territory. 

Speaking after the final whistle, an emotional Whyman said she couldn't be more proud of the team for getting the rewards in the “tough battle” after a gruelling campaign. 

“City are a great team and they were on top of us for the majority of that. To just get that one moment we needed is a bit like poetry in motion to be honest,” Whyman told Network 10.

“I’m trying to build my confidence back a little bit this year. It was up and down for myself. I’ve had a hard year outside football… but coming to Sydney every day and being around these girls really uplifts you, and keeps you going.

“I just can’t be more grateful for the support from these girls that I’ve had, just to rebuild my confidence, but a lot of these girls it’s their first Grand Final and I’m just so happy to be a part of that with them."

Whyman was brought to tears on speaking about her late great-grandmother, Aunty Frances Mathyssen, who passed in the lead up to last year’s FIFA World Cup. 

“I know she’d be looking down on me today,” she said. 

“A lot of my family were here today to watch me play. I just can’t be more happy for my squad.”

As published by A League media this week, Whyman spoke of her love to play in Sydney’s purple goalkeeping kit, her great-grandmother’s favourite colour. 

Although she donned a green kit in Saturday’s final, the decider was another accolade on a growing CV for the Matildas squad member and future star in Australia’s national team. 

In the media piece released last week, Whyman gave insight into her personal journey and family sacrifices along the road to lifting up the trophy for a second time. 

She said after relocating to Queanbeyan for a scholarship at a goalkeeping academy, her family spent time “essentially homeless”, living in a tent for two months.

“My parents weren't eating as many meals as what us kids were,” Whyman said.

“But it's definitely a factor in my football - is trying to push myself to repay what they’ve done for me. The experience they gave me and my siblings, I just hope they know I’m very grateful for it.”

A near two year interruption with injury coincided with her departure from the Wanderers to land at her current club for the 2020/21 season

“For my first season at Sydney (FC), I just remember saying to myself that I wanted to play every single game…that’s all I wanted to do because it had been so hard for me to just play through years before that,” Whyman said.

Speaking post-match, Sydney FC coach Ante Juric said he hoped to keep the bulk of the side together for another push next season, but could foresee offers from overseas clubs coming the way of his young goalkeeper. 

“I don't think we'll lose anyone overseas this time. Maybe Viney's (Matildas midfielder Cortnee Vine) the one that potentially will look, maybe Jada, but the rest hopefully will stay.”

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