Another year of football awaits one of the most storied teams in Australia club football. Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory began their preparations for the 2013-14 Hyundai A-League season with a series of matches in July.
On Jul. 2, the Victory defeated Richmond SC 2-1. James Jeggo scored in the 25th minute and Andrew Nabbout added to the advantage in the 35th minute of play. On Jul. 9, they drew with Bentleigh Greens 1-1 with Nabbout scoring in the 76th minute. Then, on Jul. 16, Melbourne defeated the Port Melbourne Sharks 1-0 thanks to Jason Geria in the 22nd minute.
Melbourne Victory 2 (J. Jeggo, Nabbout)
Richmond SC 1 (Armenian)
Melbourne Victory XI:
Nick Ansell, Leigh Broxham, Billy Celeski, Jimmy Jeggo, Luc Jeggo, Adrian Leijer ©, Jesse Makarounas, Dylan Murnane, Andrew Nabbout, Francesco Stella (Chris Cristaldo 52′), Lawrence Thomas (gk)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Nabbout)
Bentleigh Greens 1 (Milovanovic)
Melbourne Victory XI: Lawrence Thomas (GK) Luc Jeggo, Jason Geria, Adrian Leijer, Scott Galloway, Jimmy Jeggo, Leigh Broxham, Billy Celeski (Dylan Murnane), Jesse Makarounas (Francesco Stella), Andrew Nabbout, Chris Cristaldo (John Buceto).
The Victory suffered their first defeat of the season on Jul. 24 against Liverpool. Steven Gerrard, the face of the Reds, opened the scoring in the 32nd minute and Iago Aspas added a late insurance goal in the 93rd minute of play.
This year’s Melbourne Victory side will have a new look to themselves. Marco Rojas is now with VfB Stuttgart, Billy Celeski is now playing in the Middle East, and both Marcos Flores and Theo Markelis have been shipped out.
One player that fans will need to keep an eye out for is Connor Pain, who shined in Victory’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool. Can Pain fill in the void left by Rojas? Only time will tell.
“Why not? I mean, 12 months ago Marco hadn’t scored a goal in the A-League (for Melbourne Victory), you know, and went on to score 15 because we invested time and our structure suited him,” Postecoglou told Michael Huguenin of Omnisport. “And it will be the same with Connor, (Andrew) Nabbout and all these guys, we’ve got in those positions.
“We’ll still want to bring the best players to our football club, there’s no doubt about that, and we’ll still make some key signings but we’re never going to stifle our youth either, if they’re coming through they’ll play, simple as that.”
Melbourne continue their preseason against the Brisbane Roar at the North Ipswich Reserve in Ipswich, Qld. on Sept. 14. They will follow that with a friendly against Western Sydney Wanderers on Sept. 29 in Tasmania. The Victory open up their A-League campaign on Oct. 12 against Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Vic.