DANIEL McBreen reckons life can’t get much better in football and after the week he has had it’s pretty hard to disagree with the Mariners marksman.
CENTRAL Coast Mariners- grand final hero Daniel McBreen has described his season as ‘surreal- after taking out the Joe Marston Medal for best afield in the grand final.
Off the field he may have been valuable for his laid back nature and endless pranks but on it the veteran made it 19 goals for the season with his match-winning penalty, the striker finding it hard to believe his miracle season had happened.
“It-s a bit surreal at the moment, I never thought I would be Golden Boot, Joe Marston and grand final winner but I can-t do it without the boys who create those chances, the coaching staff or any of that,” McBreen said.
His penalty which he hit with some venom to the right of Wanderers keeper Ante Covic, was what sealed it for the Mariners and ended a series of heartbreaking grand final losses for the club, McBreen was happy to say no-one else was going to hit that ball from the spot.
“I was the penalty taker since we had those misses, Arnie said ‘You-re on them and nobody else is on them,- so luckily I practiced them as I should, and it went in,” he said.
“He (Graham Arnold) wanted me to have a mindset of what I was going to do pre-game, and I said I-ll just put it where I put my last one and if he saves it he saves it and if he doesn-t happy days, so it was very happy days.
“I side-footed it, but it was just a case of if he did get to it, it would have to be a really good save.”
It would have been one from the top drawer if Covic had of saved it, and even though he didn-t McBreen admitted there were some nerves due to the fact Covic had saved all four penalties he faced in the regular season
“He-s been a machine in that goal, so I-m sure he would have traded the other four for that one, but that-s football,” McBreen said.
The win of course gave the Mariners their maiden championship and McBreen his first win of any grand final since he was a teenager, it had been a long time between drinks, but McBreen said he and his teammates were always confident.
“I haven-t won a grand final all the way back to when I was 15,” McBreen said.
“Hutch and Kwasnik have been here eight years, and the fans who have gone through three of them, came up in the street and wished us well, it was great to see them celebrating like that tonight after so many tight losses.
“We thought we could beat anyone on the day and a few of us said we thought 2-0 would be the score we would win by, turns out a few of the boys are pretty cluey.”
McBreen also said despite his success individually he felt coach Graham Arnold deserved plenty of props for not only having faith in many of the youngsters in the team, but also for picking a group of veterans to keep them grounded, and as it turned out the veterans in Patrick Zwaanswijk and McBreen himself were the heroes.
“I thought we had been relaxed this week, these young guys are so confident and believe in their ability, we have such a good group of guys and we-re so grounded, but give the young guys the confidence to express themselves.
“Arnie is all for young players and getting Australian youth and getting them to move onto bigger and better things but he is also about the mix and having the experienced guys in the team to give them some guidance and the confidence to be their best, and the old boys came through.”