Leo Lacroix hailed the strength of Western United and said he had his eyes cast on making history from the moment he joined the Green and Black.
Arriving from his native Switzerland in pre-season, Lacroix was encouraged to come to the West by Alessandro Diamanti, and it’s a decision he doesn’t regret.
“Alessandro Diamanti was the key. When I was in Switzerland he called me many times. I spoke with the coach, he told me about the project and after Diamanti called me and said ‘come my friend, we will enjoy, we can do something, the Club is new’,” he said.
When he spoke to his family about making the move to the other side of the world, the 29-year-old told them straight away how ambitious he was.
“I said to my wife, my family, I’m going there to make history. I’m very happy for the Club, for all my teammates, for my family. They came with me, they supported me and I’m very happy,” he said.
Lacroix had an outstanding debut season at Western United, earning a place in the PFA Team of the Season and also receiving a selection in the A-Leagues All-Stars team.
That form continued into the Grand Final where the Swiss international made seven clearances and had a crucial block on Mathew Leckie after the Socceroo had rounded Jamie Young on the hour mark.
While his ambitions and expectations where clear when he arrived, nobody tipped Western United for the success it had on the pitch.
Lacroix credits the togetherness of the group for defying the doubters, and also thanked Essendon Football Club for its part in welcoming Western United to the NEC Hangar.
“This group is strong, unbelievable. We moved to Essendon, and thanks to Essendon also because we train there, they help us do recovery, in the gym and everything, so thanks to Essendon also,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter where we play, if we are together, we know where we want to go. We dreamed of this moment, and today we turned this dream into a reality.”
Lacroix made the pledge, and now he and his teammates will forever live in the history books as the first A-League Men Champions at Western United.