The incident occurred when the youngster denied Marrone a quick throw in, just minutes after Sydney took a 2-1 lead in extra time.

What happened next sparked an all-in sideline melee as Marrone knocked the boy to the ground in an effort to retrieve the ball.

Reds coach, Marco Kurz, held Matt Simon's face between his hands as he tried to calm the Sydney striker who was the first to rush in.

Post-match Zullo, who played with the Reds in 2013-14 told Fox Sports: "Look Micky Marrone is a good person, that's all I can say.

"I played with him at Adelaide - it's not in his nature at all. I just think he had a brain fade. It's a final and these things happen. 

"He's a good person and I think he's going to regret his actions."

Sydney players invited the ball boy on the stage for the medal presentation, and Zullo reportedly handed him his medal.

"Yeah we got him up because he put his body on the line for the club," the Sydney defender added.

Marrone now faces the prospect of a stiff penalty from the FFA.

Speaking just moments after the brawl erupted Fox Sports sideline reporter Adam Peacock said: "The poor ball-boy is so rattled, it's not funny, he doesn't know what's going on," 

Kurz said the reaction was totally unlike the normally quiet Marrone.

"I can only say sorry and Micky is very down," the coach told Fairfax media .

"I think he spoke with the boy after the game and he's OK, it's not his nature and I hope after the talk it was OK but from my side and also from the players' side, we'll say sorry," Kurz said.

It wasn't the only bizarre moment of the game. Reds player Ersan Gulum, already subbed, was slapped with a yellow cardd for distributing water from the sideline in extra time.