Hoogland overcomes injury to be named for Victory

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Melbourne Victory welcomed another one of their 2019/20 signings into the side this week, with Tim Hoogland being cleared for availability for round seven.

Victory head coach Marco Kurz said as he departed for Adelaide that Hoogland was travelling with the team as they prepared to take on Adelaide United.

Hoogland had been sidelined for six weeks prior to the commencement of the 2019/20 A-League season with a quad injury sustained in the final training session before the round one derby clash.

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Kurz was confident with his new bench allocations, Hoogland could travel and play his first minutes for 2019/20.

“In the new season we have the luxury to set up the bench with six players which means we have more varieties,” Kurz said.

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“That makes sense to bring him and travel to Adelaide and we see how the game runs.”

Like Robbie Kruse and Andrew Nabbout, who had also been sidelined because of injuries this year, Kurz had no intention in rushing Hoogland’s return, making the decision to not name him in the starting 11.

“Not from the beginning no, but it’s good to have him in the away game with the team,” Kurz said.

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Kruse started last week’s match against Sydney FC on the bench and again was named a substitute alongside Hoogland for the Adelaide game.

This has become a familiar trend for Kurz to start returning players on a lighter duty, if he names them at all, with no hesitation to rest a player in the hope of recovering them from injury.

Kurz was happy to have the defender fit for selection in round seven and said it was both his presence on and off the field that was an important contribution to the Victory side.

“He’s a leader, he’s always good for the team to have him around, and I’m happy to have him back as well in the travelling squad,” Kurz said.

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Hoogland was substituted on in the 64th minute for Storm Roux against the Reds but struggled to make the impact he and his coach would have liked.

He was faced with the challenge of playing against Riley McGree and looked to lack the pace and intensity needed to keep up with the striker, who scored his second goal in the presence of Hoogland.

After his first game for Victory back from injury, there is no doubt his inclusion will add support to both a struggling defence and midfield structure for Victory.

Once Hoogland is 100 per cent he will use his international experience to assist Thomas Deng, James Donachie, Roux and Adama Traore in the backline, who are not performing collectively at their best.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Tricia Mifsud
Covering Melbourne Victory during the 2019/2020 season. Bachelor of Media and Communications (Sports Journalism) at Latrobe University. Dedicated to writing articles that sports fans want to read.