Champness, 21 made 25 appearances and scored four goals this season, with his exciting displays in the A-League earning the talented attacker a nomination for Young Footballer of the Year.
His electrifying pace and dribbling skills have been a feature for the Jets in their march towards the A-League Grand Final and the Australian youth-international said he owes a great deal to his coach.
“The trust and the faith Ernie has given to me - it’s my job to repay that,” he said speaking to FourFourTwo.
“He’s been a really good boss and the results have shown that. It’s a really good felling around the club and it’s been great playing under his leadership.
“It’s been the best season for me in the A-League. I can’t describe it, how good the experiences I‘ve had so far have been. I just want to keep building that with every chance I get."
Merrick revealed that earlier in the season it was the Jet’s squad who set the bar high and he lauded their ability to reach their goals.
“The players set all the challenges and objectives and they’re the ones that have followed through and are willing to be accountable,” Merrick told FourFourTwo.
“They’ve followed through all the way and have overachieved in many ways. To be in the Grand Final is just really special and it’s a credit to them.”
Looking towards Saturday’s decider, Champness said the Jets are bullish about their chances but need to give everything if they are to secure the A-League Championship.
“We are confident, very confident about the opposition we are coming up against," he said.
"But Victory are a very good team. It will be a good challenge for us.
“All of us need to put in that extra one percent and that will make all the difference and we are all going to work on that and hopefully we can bring back the title.”
“You always got to believe in yourself when you get the opportunity so I’m very grateful for this season but there is still a job to do for the team and for myself as well.”