Tom blessed to be the hero

Tom Pondeljak says he feels blessed and privileged to not only have clinched his first Hyundai A-League championship medal at his third attempt but also to have won the Joe Marston Medal for best afield after proving the match-winner for Melbourne Victory in Saturday night's memorable 1-0 Grand Final win over Adelaide.

Tom Pondeljak says he feels blessed and privileged to not only have clinched his first Hyundai A-League championship medal at his third attempt but also to have won the Joe Marston Medal for best afield after proving the match-winner for Melbourne Victory in Saturday night's memorable 1-0 Grand Final win over Adelaide.

Pondeljak, who played in two losing grand finals in the A-League for Central Coast, before joining Melbourne this season, struck a 25-yard wonder goal to clinch the 2008/09 championship for the Victory in the 59th-minute after being set up by a clever backheel by youngster Evan Berger.

And while it may have been his first A-League championship success, Pondeljak was actually celebrating his fourth premiership success from seven grand finals all-up - having won titles with Perth Glory, Sydney Olympic and Melbourne Knights in the old National Soccer League.

"I think I have been blessed and privileged to have been part of these grand final experiences," Pondeljak said.

"I have had seven grand finals now for four wins and obviously had the disappointment of previous grand finals and I wanted to put this one right.'

"But it was a tough game tonight and I was the lucky one who scored."

Pondeljak said his match-winning goal was one of the highlights of his career and paid credit to Berger for his role in creating it.

"Evan made a great forceful run forward and produced a clever backheel for me and I ran across and tried to go for the corner."

"It was actually going straight for (teammate) Carlos (Hernandez) but luckily he moved out of the way and did me favour because him moving out of the way meant it caught (Adelaide keeper) Eugene (Galekovic) a little bit off guard and it went in the goal."

As for his role in Melbourne's moment of magic, 21-year-old Berger said he was just rapt to be involved after only coming onto the field as a substitute three minutes earlier.

"It was awesome just to get out there and be amongst it and to be involved in a win - you can't have anything better than that," he said.

"And looking back on it (in the future) I can say I was involved in the goal so that was a great experience and Tommy finished if so well and I am just so happy that we got our hands on the (championship) trophy."