Updated: 05/03/2014 11:29 | By Agence France-Presse

Ono wants A-League title as parting legacy

Celebrated Japanese playmaker Shinji Ono is aiming to finish his stint in Australia on a high by helping the Western Sydney Wanderers win Sunday's A-League Grand Final against Brisbane Roar.


Ono wants A-League title as parting legacy

Shinji Ono of Australia's Western Sydney Wanderers celebrates after scoring against China's Guizhou Renhe in Sydney on April 22, 2014 - by Daniel Munoz

Ono, 34, has been an outstanding success in his two seasons with the A-League's newest club and this weekend's decider in Brisbane will be his last game in Australia before he returns to Japan to join Consadole Sapporo.

The Roar are favourites to win their third grand final in four seasons after finishing the current campaign 10 points clear of Wanderers in the regular season.

The Wanderers, under coach Tony Popovic, are bidding to go one better after a 2-0 loss to Central Coast Mariners in last year's grand final in their inaugural season.

Western Sydney's title hopes before a 50,000 sell-out at Suncorp Stadium will hinge largely on the silky skills of Ono, who played 56 times for Japan and appeared in three World Cups.

"I'm really hungry to get this championship in the grand final because we achieved the premiership in the regular season last year but people just think about the grand final winner," Ono said.

"I'm very hungry to win the title and of course, I want to leave a memory here before I leave.

"The Roar have a big confidence but I think we have confidence for just one game to decide for us. I want to give 100 percent and show what I have on the pitch."

Ono is still involved with the Wanderers' AFC Champions League campaign, with the Australian side through to the last 16 of the competition and about to face J-League champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima over two legs this month.

The Roar, under coach Mike Mulvey, have been the dominant team this season, but under Australia's post-season finals system, have to win the one-off grand final to be confirmed as the champion team.

"My job will be to make sure we arrive at the grand final with tons of energy ready to play the game of our lives," said Mulvey, who has been named coach of the year in his first full season at the helm of the two-time champions.

"I am fortunate to have a dressing room full of players who have experienced it before."

Leading the way for the Roar will be German playmaker Thomas Broich and Albanian striker Besart Berisha, who has scored 47 goals in three seasons.

Broich, who joined the Roar in 2010, has played every minute of Brisbane's 28 games this season and has posted more assists than any other player in the competition, with 10.

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