This past weekend, Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory made the trip to nib Stadium in Perth to take on the Perth Glory. Sitting third in the Hyundai A-League ladder, the Victory continued their pursuit of Adelaide United and the Central Coast Mariners. Prior to the meeting, the Victory had never won in Perth for the last three years.
“Teams I coach, we try and win wherever we go,” Postecoglou told Dejan Kalinic for melbournevictory.com.au on Friday. “If you put up barriers of thinking that something is going to be a tough trip and go over there with a negative mindset then – particularly at a place like Perth – you let them get on top of you.
“They don’t have a massive crowd but they’ve got a real vocal crowd that lifts their team. From our point of view it’s just about continuing our form and going there and trying to win a game of football and not be reserved or conservative in our approach.
“”The players have certainly understood that by now whether we’re playing home or away or whatever team we’re playing we’re going to try and win a game. We’re certainly not going to go over there trying not to lose and because of that mentality it shouldn’t really matter how far you’re travelling or the ground you’re playing at. You’re trying to outplay the opposition and get the points (and) that’s what we’ll be doing tomorrow.”
One player that will be joining the ranks of the Melbourne Victory is Francesco Stella, who signed a two-and-a-half-year deal to join the club. Stella started his career at the age of 17 with AC Siena of Serie and and just spent a four-month stint for Rangers of the Scottish Football League Third Division. Furthermore, Stella is a Melbourne local, and his signing is heralded a sort of homecoming.
“Being overseas has been an experience that I have learnt a lot from, both good and bad, and I feel it has helped me grow both as a footballer and a person,” Stella told melbournevictory.com.au. “It’s extremely competitive over in Europe and at 21, I want to be playing regular first team football if I’m going to continue my development as a player.”
In the meantime, the Victory shut out the Perth Glory 1-0 thanks to an own goal by Perth’s Scott Jamieson in the 24th minute of play. The Glory were reduced to 1-0 men when defender Josh Risdon was given his marching orders on a second yellow card.
Two more players signed with Victory hours later: 18-year old attacker Jesse Makarounas and 17-year old defender Scott Galloway. Ironically, Makarounas was a former Glory player, with three league appearances under his belt. Makarounas has also had playing time with the Australian youth teams, including the most recent FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. As for Galloway, he hails from the Australia Institute of Sport, having had a successful run in the National Youth League as a captain.
“I want to thank Perth Glory for the opportunities they gave me and it was certainly a tough decision to leave my home town,” Makarounas said to reporters, “but Melbourne Victory has shown a willingness to blood youngsters on a number of occasions this season and it was an offer I couldn’t refuse.”
“It’s every young footballers dream to sign their first professional contract, so I’m over the moon to be joining a club like Melbourne Victory,” Galloway added. “Hopefully I can repay their faith in me over the next few seasons.”