What they said: Brush to call time, Polias' inspiring message and Vidosic hails the 'ultimate leader'
Sydney FC star Ellie Brush is set to call time on a sensational Westfield W-League career following Saturday's Grand Final defeat to Melbourne City.
The 31-year-old was Canberra United's captain in the competition's inaugural year and led the team to the Grand Final, where they were defeated by Queensland Roar.
Brush would go on to represent Avaldsnes in Norway, Houston Dash in the United States as well as Sydney's rivals Western Sydney Wanderers before joining Ante Juric's side for the 2019/20 campaign.
Although Sydney were not able to get the job done on the day, Brush said she has left it all out on the pitch.
"We pushed City all the way and maybe more than they've been tested throughout the whole season," she told Sydney's official website.
"I just love this group this bunch of girls. They've become my family this season, we've got a really special thing and it was definitely a shame not to finish on a high but making it here today was special and we really enjoyed the season."
Brush added she was ready to take on the next stage of her life - but joked she might be tempted to hang around.
"It's been a long but great ride. If the price is right, you can't discount coming back again! I've still been playing at my best.
"You'd like to go out on a high and I think I've done as much as I can. Not many people get this opportunity so I've been blessed to have had as much time as I've had."
If Saturday's defeat is Brush's final outing in the Westfield W-League it was a valiant way to go out.
City were overwhelmingly hot favourites to seal the Championship and complete an unbeaten campaign before the match but Sydney gave Rado Vidosic's side one of the sternest tests they had faced all season.
Veronica Latsko saw a goal-bound effort hacked off the line by Ellie Carpenter while Princess Ibini had goalkeeper Lydia Williams scrambling late as the Sky Blues came just short in their seventh Grand Final appearance.
“To lose when you’ve given everything – is no issue," said coach Ante Juric.
"We tried everything, we gave it everything and City kept us out so it’s a credit to them as well.”
Meanwhile, Sky Blues skipper Teresa Polias added: "You are such a phenomenal group.
"I will lose with you a thousand times if that's what it takes. I have loved playing alongside you, leading you"
ROAD TO THE GRAND FINAL: Sydney FC
MESSAGE FROM FFA CEO: James Johnson’s message to Australia’s football family
City's triumph means they have won their fourth Championship in five years following their competition debut.
They also become the first Westfield W-League club to win four titles, ahead of the three-time Champions from the Harbour City.
Fittingly, the decisive moment arrived from City stalwart and Westfield Matildas star Steph Catley, who saw her effort fumbled over the line early by Sydney 'keeper Aubrey Bledsoe.
Catley was part of the club's inaugural success in 2015/16 and has led the team with utmost distinction throughout their unbeaten season.
“Steph is the ultimate leader," hailed Vidosic.
"She is as professional a player that I have seen in the A-League or the W-League that I have been involved [with]."
ROAD TO THE GRAND FINAL: Melbourne City