2014/15 Melbourne Victory season preview

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The 2013/14 season was a mixed bag for Melbourne Victory; on one hand, they were pumped 5-0 – twice – and on the other hand, they defeated rival Sydney FC at the death in a final.

With a strong preseason behind the Victory, as well as a number of new signings, it is possible they can make this season’s finals and bring the title home.

Last season
A-League: 4th
Finals: 1-0 Semi-Final loss against Brisbane Roar

They’ll win the league because…
With such a strong preseason behind Victory, they have proved nothing is impossible! Finishing fourth, could this be the impetus to bring it home for Victory and their fan base? Even with many player injuries and suspensions, forcing coach Kevin Muscat to shift players out of their normal positions, Victory have proved themselves to be a united front and a real threat to the rest of the league.

So watch out, Sydney – Victory is coming… (DUN, DUN, DUN.)

They’ll be cellar dwellers because…
Melbourne Victory’s support base last season sat at 22,000 members; so far, Victory has only managed to pull 19,000 for this season. With on-field results not up to expectations and ongoing issues between the club and its supporters, this could be the year that the side bottoms out.

With the A-League in the full swing this Friday, and what was mean to be an expected 90,000+ members joining A-League teams, could the Victory be the team to lets the A-League down? Hopefully the Victory have made the right choice bringing in international players Matthieu Delpierre, Carl Valeri and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

The off-season brought…
A fresh new start for the 2014/15 season, with five new international player signings in Mattheiu Delpeirre, Daniel Georgievski, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Bersat Berisha. By Melbourne Victory reshaping their squad, they are in an excellent position to excel in the A-League’s big 10 birthday party.

Their careful consideration of players has already payed off.  During the preseason friendlies, they won nine games, drew once and conceded only twice. With an impressive off-season like that, the Victory already have the makings of finalists for the upcoming season.

Talk around the water cooler… look smart in front of your colleagues with this valuable piece of information.
In coach Kevin Muscat’s first game in charge, Victory went 3-0 up against Wellington Pheonix FC before Wellington scraped in two goals leading to a tense ending. Regardless of the win, Victory had a constant inconsistent run of results, winning five, drawing four and losing six of their 15 subsequent matches, with Victory gaining just 19 of a possible 45 points. Regardless to this day, supporters can’t help but support him – that’s what makes Victory fans some of  the best in the A-League.

Key Player
Carl Valeri is the player to watch this season after signing a three-year deal with Melbourne Victory; there is a bright future ahead for the Socceroos defensive midfielder. With previous great success at Italian team Inter Milan, Grosseto and Sassuolo, Valeri wanted to come back home to Australia where his heart belongs. Not only has Carl got a strong background in defensive midfield, he has already linked in well, combining great play with Milligan. With great support in defense for Melbourne Victory, Carl has made his position well with the team and is extremely pleasurable and relaxing to watch.

One to watch
Any coach will tell you that a versatile player is a great player, which is exactly what Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat stated about Fahid Ben Khalfallah, the fifth and last international player brought in for the upcoming season.

“Fahid’s versatility and attacking mindset is a very exciting prospect for us and we think he will add even more depth and quality to our squad,” Muscat said.

With Melbourne Victory finishing fourth on the ladder last year, Fahid’s experience will be invaluable. He will be a great asset and pleasure to watch not only for the public, but also the younger players in the squad to learn from and admire. Fahid was born October 9, 1982 (31 years old) in Peronne. He plays attacking midfielder and can proudly boast 32 goals achieved with such top teams as Troyes, Bordeaux, 
Valenciennes, 
Caen
, Angers,
 Laval and 
Amiens SC.

Fahid has signed a one-year deal with Melbourne Victory and is excited about experiencing the multicultural and sophisticated lifestyle that Melbourne offers.

Full squad list
1. Nathan Coe GK, Jason Geria DF, Nick Ansell DF, Mark Milligan (c) MF, Leigh Broxham (vc) MF, Gue Finkler MF, Besart Berisha FW, Kota Barbarouses FW, Archie Thompson FW, Connor Pain FW, Andrew Nabbout FW, Fahid Ben Khalfallah MF, Daniel Georgievski DF, Rashid Mahazi MF, Matthieu Delpeirre DF, Dylan Murnane DF, Lawrence Thomas GK, Carl Valeri MF, Jesse Makarounas MF, Adrian Leijer (2nd vc) DF, Scott Galloway DF, Jordan Brown MF

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