SYDNEY FC’s second consecutive A-League football championship win at Parramatta Stadium last Sunday night – following a thrilling extra-time 1-0 victory against Melbourne City – was extra special for the Swibel family.
“For me this definitely feels even more” special than last year, the powerhouse club’s men’s football manager Michael Swibel told The AJN on Tuesday, “because this time my son Jordi was a full-time member of the top squad”.
“To be able to share that moment with your son, and with the whole team, head coach Steve Corica and support staff – after a season that basically lasted 12 months – well, it was simply brilliant.”
It’s still hard to believe Jordi Swibel is still only 21. After scoring a stack of goals for the Sky Blues in the NPL NSW competition, he was upgraded to a Y-League contract in mid-2019, and included in Sydney’s extended squad for the Asian Champions League.
Playing a key role in the club’s Y-League championship win in early 2020 saw him rewarded with game time off the bench in three A-League matches this season.
While he was not called upon to play in the finals, Jordi told The AJN it felt “incredible and surreal” to be involved in all aspects of the team’s preparations, to cheer them on from the sideline during the decider, and run onto the pitch with his dad to join in the epic post-match celebrations, lift the trophy and receive his players’ championship medal.
“It was so amazing, because I’ve been a Sky Blues fan since childhood, but to actually experience winning a premiership as a member of the squad was surreal . . . and I feel so proud, honoured and humbled,” said Jordi.
“I was very confident we would win, because we have players that have done it before, we were well-prepared, and all the boys worked so hard in what was a very strange season.
“A lot of them made huge sacrifices too, having to be in the bubble environment all teams were under for the whole season due to COVID-19 … we certainly all enjoyed having our first coffee at a cafe this week!”
The former Hakoah FC junior said he feels he has improved a lot this year “as a player, but also as a person”.
“While the start date for next season is still up in the air, I’m really looking forward to what’s ahead,” added Jordi.