Ahead of the first all-Melbourne A-League Men grand final, Western United coach John Aloisi and Melbourne City counterpart Patrick Kisnorbo would like the decider given clean air from other Australian football competitions.
Ticket sales for Saturday night's decider at AAMI Park were close to 20,000 on Friday, but both coaches believed that number could be improved by freeing up the day for more local football fans.
All but one of the Victorian NPL men's games this weekend are scheduled for Saturday, the same day as the decider of an ALM season that has struggled for crowds and cut-through.
"It would have been nice if the whole of football stopped for one game and not played any of their local games, the NPLs, and not only here in Melbourne but the whole of Australia," Aloisi told reporters.
"Because all eyes should be on this game. It's the A-League and it's the grand final.
"So hopefully in the future they do that and and they stop or play them on a different day and everyone can watch what will be a great game."
Melbourne local and City coach Kisnorbo agreed.
"I agree. When it comes to a grand final, I think every game should be cancelled in Australia, so then the football community can watch whoever's playing," Kisnorbo said.
"Look at the AFL. No-one plays AFL on the grand final (day). Everyone's tuned in to watch the AFL grand final."
United and City's relatively small fanbases have prompted concerns of a potentially limited crowd but Aloisi was confident locals would show up.
"It's a grand final. These are special days. I've been fortunate as a player to be involved in a couple and also been involved in the cup in Spain and they're special," Aloisi said.
"The atmosphere, and to have two Melbourne teams at AAMI Park, it doesn't happen very often. It's the first time in A-League history so I'm pretty confident it will be close to being full, if not full.
"They're very close to (having) sold 20,000 tickets already, which is huge. That's huge for us as a club and I'm sure for Melbourne City as well and hopefully the neutral comes along."
United are unbeaten in their three games against City this season and they and Aloisi are eyeing a first title.
"All these players that have come in and the players that were already there from day one, they want to create history with this football club and we've got an opportunity for it," Aloisi said.
United midfielder Steven Lustica has pulled up well from calf tightness, with only Alessandro Diamanti, Rene Khrin and Nikolai Topor-Stanley sidelined.
City have everyone bar Aiden O'Neill (back) available and Kisnorbo had no concerns about his players' motivation as they attempt to become the first ALM team to seal back-to-back premiership-championship doubles.
"If you need to get players up for a game like this, then maybe you need to ask yourself some questions," he said.
"I'm sure both sides tomorrow will be ready to go."
Australian Associated Press
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