It’s October and that means its football season(hooray!). The long wait is over and the A-League is back, which could be geared up as the best season to date. For the purpose of the A-League I will be conducting a season preview of both Melbourne teams.
Here is my season preview of Melbourne Victory.
After finishing a dissapointing sixth last season Melbourne Victory will be looking to make amends and charge towards the top half of the table in their new campaign.
The Victory kicks off the new A-League campaign with an away match against Brisbane Roar on Friday night.
The big V has had a busy off season by playing in the International Champions Cup against Juventus and then a friendly against Atletico Madrid, in which they managed to find a win.
They have arguably had more game time than anyone else in the off season and could be a smart move towards the new season.
However, as far transfers go it could dampen Victory’s chances of winning the league.
They said goodbye to two of their most influential players that are, Gui Finkler and Kosta Barbarouses who have both moved to Wellington Phoenix. One area that could hurt Victory in particular is in their defence, as Mathieu Delpierre has retired leaving a huge hole in the back part of the pitch. Another absentee is former stalwart Archie Thompson who has parted ways with the club leaving questions about a back up option for Besart Berisha.
However, Victory always manages to find a way to strengthen their squad and they have done just that by singing the talented fan favourites Marco Rojas and James Troisi who will strengthen their attacking options. They have also filled the void that Delpierre has left by capturing the services of Spanish defender Alan Baro.
There is still a huge hole left in the Victory squad though, as they rely too much of Besart Berisha and have not yet found a sustainable back up option for when he does miss games. They also lack a good back up option for goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas.
One thing that Victory are good at though is producing youth and they have a bunch of it this season. Expect to see more young guns as Jai Ingham, Nick Ansell, Scott Galloway will be looking to get more game time.
Having Carl Valeri back in the line up after illness raptured his 2015/16 campaign is a major boost for the team and could provide the missing link.
Melbourne Victory has a good mix of youth and experience in their squad and with a club like Victory success is everything.