BEING a western Sydney boy, Mariners attacker Nick Fitzgerald admits it will be a strange feeling lining up against the Wanderers in the A-League grand final this Sunday at Allianz Stadium.
Fitzgerald played youth football for the Blacktown City Demons between 2008 and 2010.
At the time he was contracted to Central Coast, but eventually linked with Brisbane before moving back south midway through this season.
"It is funny playing against Western Sydney in an A-League grand final," he said.
"I played with Joey Gibbs when he was at Blacktown.
"But it's great to see so many western Sydney players in the competition, and not just at the Wanderers."
Fitzgerald has impressed in his second stint at the Mariners, playing eight A-League, and three Asian Champions League games under coach Graham Arnold after earning limited game time at the Roar.
"It's been great being part of such a good squad at the Mariners. But I have no hard feelings towards the Roar - they had their own ideas and were unlucky not to make the grand final," Fitzgerald said.
Fitzgerald pointed to his team's 1-0 loss to the Wanderers in a round-23 thriller, saying that game proved the Mariners were capable of an upset this Sunday.
"While we were disappointed with the result in that game, we showed we can match it with the Wanderers," he said.
"It's a grand final, a one-off, and anything can happen."