Sydney FC goalkeeper Jada Whyman admits it was a "weird feeling" accepting the player of the match award in last year's grand final, but watching the opposition claim the trophy that mattered most.
But the Wagga product will get a chance to atone when they clash with Melbourne Victory again in Sunday's A-League Women's decider at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium.
Victory won last year's grand final with a goal in the dying stages of extra time, a shattering blow after a series of impressive saves from Whyman kept her team in the game.
While being judged best afield was nice acknowledgement, the 22-year-old wants to be on the podium celebrating with her teammates this time around.
"Last season was a hard one to swallow, but now we're back in the final and against the same team," Whyman said.
"Obviously we want to win this one, but I try and keep the emotion out of it because I think I play better being level-headed.
"That was a weird feeling (accepting player of the match) last year. It's a big personal honour but I feel the player of the match was for the whole team really, because our defence was amazing all year and it showed in the grand final.
"That was my first finals series, and o have that experience going into this year will be quite valuable.
"A lot of our team are so young, so it's cool they've got that experience in these big games. I feel more confident in terms of my mindset."
Serious injuries had halted Whyman's progress, but now she's healthy she's proven she's one of the best shotstoppers in the country.
She set a new A-League Women's record of nine consecutive clean sheets this season, eclipsing the previous mark of seven.
"It was something that was building up, but the pressure was built up from outside of our team more than us. I forgot at times we just have to win a game rather than get a clean sheet," she said.
"The clean sheet goes to the goalkeeper but it was a team effort right from our front three to the defence. It was a mindset we had at the start of the season to have the best defence, as that's usually what gets you over the line at the end of the season."
Sydney FC will enter the grand final, which kicks off at 4pm, as favourites after finishing top of the ladder, while Victory was forced to qualify the hard way from fourth.
"We need to go into every tackle 100 per cent and everything around the box is picked up and cleared away. Those small things will win you the game at the end of the day," Whyman said.
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