Robbie Slater Medal winner Dylan Mitchell said it was adrenalin which lifted him to a career best performance in Manly United’s incredible penalty shootout victory during Sunday’s PlayStation®4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Grand Final.
The Manly United shot stopper played the game of his life stopping two penalties and a making a myriad of clutch saves on his way to being named man of the match.
The 25-year-old said the pressure of playing on the big stage helped him play the game of his life when it mattered most.
“To be honest a lot of it was adrenalin. The game was absolutely mental to be fair,” he said.
“The Manly United supporters were incredible and really lifted the team throughout the match. I had a lot of family and friends come out to watch as will which always gives you an extra boost.
“It is not often you get to play in a grand final, it has been a long time since I last played in one so there was no way I wasn’t going home without the trophy tonight.”
After helping Manly United win a clutch penalty shootout in the preliminary final against Rockdale City Suns only seven days earlier, Mitchell said he was always confident he could help his side with penalties to once again decide a victor.
“It’s a crazy mix of nerves, confidence and adrenalin. As a goalkeeper there is not as much pressure on you so you can just do everything you can to make a save,” he said.
“I felt pretty good about my chances because I showed in the preliminary final shootout I could do a good job.
“After I made the first save I knew I had it in me to stop another. I am so stoked with how it all turned out.
Despite being named best on ground, Mitchell was quick to downplay his contribution stating his performance was a product of the hard work his Manly United team had put in leading up to Sunday’s grand final win.
“To win a grand final is such an amazing feeling and to do it with a group of boys like the ones here at Manly is just incredible,” he said.
“We had a strong feeling in the team today that we weren’t going to lose this game and we dug in when it mattered most.
“The team spirit and camaraderie in this team is something else and in the end it has helped us achieve something really special.
The custodian said the win would be long remembered by the Manly United faithful
“This is massive for the Manly United club and everyone involved with this team,” Mitchell said.
“During my eight years at the club I have seen Manly become no longer content with mediocrity and become a side which challenges the best in this competition week in and week out.
“As a beaches boy I am so proud of this club and these players.”