To say Sydney FC coach Daniel Barrett had big shoes to fill would have been an understatement.

When long time Sky Blues coach Alen Stajcic was elevated to the Matildas head coach position, Barrett not only had to take over during the season, but from a coach who had assisted the club to two premierships, two championships and finals in every season.

While it hasn't always been smooth sailing, last season or this, Barrett has navigated the choppy waters and now stands to create some history of his own with the club.

[More: Full Grand Final Coverage]

Your takeaways from the Canberra United semi final. Anything to be used against City?

It won’t play too much in the way we prepare for Melbourne. The preparation for Canberra actually started two weeks ago. It was just good that we were able to transfer what we wanted to do through training into the match in relation to how we played.

Getting the match plan together, that’s something we will take into this week because it’s something we will have to do again.

Any lessons learned from Brisbane Roar's semi final performance against City?

Nothing really. We will have a totally different approach to how Brisbane took on Melbourne.

We took on Melbourne a very different way about two weeks ago. We felt that suited our players better.

[These are] two different squads. Two different beliefs about how to win football matches. Our approach will certainly be different to how Brisbane did it. They were brilliant. I don’t think anything that Brisbane did on the weekend would work for us though or serve any benefit.

As the season gets on you get more familiar with your opponent and it becomes, not easier, but easier to prepare maybe. I think that’s something we will definitely take into our match this weekend. We’re more familiar with how Melbourne play and that helps us prepare and put together a game plan that will certainly help us going forward in the match.

Are Sydney peaking at the right time?

They’ve been a very settled squad. They’ve had the one coach over a very long period of time and I was very lucky to work under him [Alen Stajcic]. Obviously I had changed a few things and that takes time. It takes a lot of time to embed and get right and it just feels like over the last month that we’re just all on the one page and we’re all feeling good about ourselves and we’re totally confident we know what we’re doing at each moment of the game. That took time.

But I believe, with the players we have and with how I wanted to play my football, we would get there. It was just a matter of persisting and making sure that even in those periods where we were finding it difficult, we still stayed in touch because I knew we could finish strongly once it all came together. And we got there.

Like I said to the players after the first two games, we don’t win the season here. We just need to make sure we continue to improve and where it counts, we need to be unbeatable. That’s where I think we are at the moment.

[More: Captain's Blog - Teresa Polias]

There’s plenty of W-League finals and big game experience in this team. How does that help the younger players like Princess Ibini for example?

Mainly just making sure that they understand their roles. Obviously nerves are always going to play a part. One thing that will settle a player, particularly a young player, is to understand the role they have to play in the game, both with and without the ball. I think if they understand what their job is at different moments in the game, they will obviously relax and and make them feel a lot better about the game.

They’re really looked after by players like Teresa Polias, Leena Khamis, Kyah Simon. They’re all big game players. They always take our young players under their wing. I think what has happened this week and last week is just making sure that the younger players are preparing the way that we always prepare.

Grand Final Preparation

We will have a training session before we leave on Saturday in Sydney. Then we will go to the airport, arrive in Melbourne and have a walk around AAMI Park.

AAMI Park for us is a good ground. We do well in Melbourne. History shows that. We’ve won a Grand Final on AAMI Park previously which myself and a lot of the players who are in the squad this year have been part of. Lots of happy memories.

This year we won against Victory there as well. It’s not a problem for us. We were actually saying it’s a great venue to have a final.

I’m sure we will have support there. Our supporters have been brilliant all year and we know our travelling supporters are heading to Melbourne.

How do you hope the first 15 minutes of the game plays out for Sydney?

Just the basics really. Get off to a good start. Make sure they settle nice and quickly. Ensure that we’re not making errors. Making sure that everything that we planned to do, we start doing it as quickly as possible and if we do that, then the rest of the game will obviously be easy for us so to speak.

Everything we’ve worked on this week in relation to how we want to play against Melbourne City, we start doing as soon as possible.

How much you are going to play your own game versus how much you need to shut down or negate Melbourne City’s players or tactics?

Look it’s 90% play our own game for sure because that gives us the best way of winning football matches.

We have to be careful in certain areas, obviously we have to have a sensible approach and we do have to take into consideration some of the players they have but if we’ve got this plan of playing the game the way we want to win this game, then they’re going to have to the same consideration for some of our players.

A lot of this week has been making sure that we do the things that Sydney FC do really well, we do them perfectly during the week and execute them right during the game because we would like to ask Melbourne some questions during the grand final.

The Semi Final fixture was such that Sydney FC have an extra day of rest. Added to that City played 120 minutes of football plus penalties. What advantage does that give you?

Absolutely it’s a positive for us that they were pushed so far and had to play so strong. [After our Semi Final] we got a nice recovery session in the next day, we had a day off the day after that  and then we’ve been training ever since. I’ll take any advantage we can get obviously leading into such a big game.

It’s up to us to push them this weekend.

Finally, it’s not over yet, but what are your thoughts on the W-League’s overall development this season?

Having Melbourne City in the league has been brilliant. Personally I think it’s been fantastic for the league because everyone needs to go up a level now if you want to compete with Melbourne City and I think that’s the way to go. It’s progress as far as I’m concerned.

In relation to the other teams, it has been a close competition this year. Right down to the final weeks we had roughly all but two teams vying for fourth spot which I think is healthy as well.

I think more needs to be done going forward with the W-League always. A longer season which I think would be definitely something that should be looked at and then obviously that needs a longer training program for the girls as well. With that, you’re only going to produce better players, better quality football.