Wanderer Tyson says job’s only half done
WESTERN Sydney back-up goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson was yesterday savouring the club's remarkable premiership-winning performance in its maiden season, but said the side still had a job to do.
The Wanderers sealed their place atop the ladder with a last-round 3-0 victory over Newcastle at Hunter Stadium on Friday night.
The Tony Popovic-coached outfit's next assignment is the A-League finals series, which gets under way on Friday night.
"To win the premiership is an incredible accomplishment, but unfortunately in this country our achievement on Friday night isn't recognised as it should be," Sunshine Coast product Tyson said.
"So we need to make sure we understand that we're not the champions unless we win the grand final."
Tyson, 23, believes his side is more than capable of claiming the double.
"We have ticked one of the boxes, but it's important we stay focused. We're two games away from ticking the other box and that would be a huge achievement and it's something we feel we're good enough to do," he said.
Western Sydney's stellar debut season may have come as a surprise to most people, but the Wanderers have always aimed high.
"If you go back 12 weeks (to mid-season) we had to win 11 games and draw one to win the premiership. Not many people would have put their hand up to say we would be able to do it, but everyone at this club believed in the team, our structure and our ability," Tyson said.
A former Gold Coast United keeper, Tyson has not played an A-League game for Western Sydney since linking with the club in the off-season.
Behind former Socceroo Ante Covic in the pecking order, he was recently ruled out for the rest of the season when he suffered a stress-related fracture in his back.
"Obviously, it was disappointing not to get some game time this year, but I have to look at the big picture," Tyson said.
"Next year when we are in the Asian Champions League there is going to be a lot more opportunity for me to play and this year I have learned a lot.
"I have grown as a professional footballer and as a person and I think that's going to put me in good stead."
The Wanderers see the former Sunshine Coast Fire keeper as a pivotal player, having recently re-signed him for the 2013-14 season.
And he is a key contributor off the field. On Friday, Tyson was named as one of three nominees for the inaugural A-League Fairer Play award.
"Unfortunately, this year I haven't been able to make the contribution I would have liked on the field so it's been really important for me to make that contribution off the field," he said.
Tyson's community work was highlighted when he spent five-and-a-half hours with a young footballer who was in a terrible car accident.
It was meant to be a one-hour visit.