Victory may be on the cusp of FFA Cup glory, but they’ve got their eyes on something bigger

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After multiple seasons languishing at the bottom of the ladder, with little hope of FFA Cup or A-League championship glory, Tony Popovic alongside a host of new recruits were brought in to right the ship.

For many, this seemed to be a long-term process that would come to fruition within a couple of years but for captain Josh Brillante, the plan was always to be great right away.

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Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s FFA Cup final against Central Coast Mariners, Brillante iterated that the whole group had believed from day one that they could get to this position this year.

“I know what the club is like and I knew that this was possible based on the guys we were bringing in and from seeing how things were functioning in pre-season, I’m really not surprised at all,” he said.

“It’s been really important for the club to have this kind of success after the past couple of years, and I’m very happy with what we’ve managed to achieve so far.”

A key point that Popovic and co. have stressed over the course of the season is how important the depth of the squad has been, and is going to be, to the team’s continued success over the coming era.

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This depth was on display in their Cup semi-final victory over Sydney FC, as Victory turned a tied game at 1-1 into a 4-1 demolition in the space of half an hour, after Popovic subbed out three starting players.

A key reason behind them having such a deep squad has been the development of some of the younger members, chief amongst them being strikers Nick D’Agostino and Ben Folami.

“Depth in our squad has been massive for us, and I think those guys are showing us how far they’ve come during this FFA Cup,” Brillante said.

“You have injuries and you have quick turnarounds, so you can’t rely on just 11 players, it’s definitely the whole squad.

“Those guys have come on, or started in other games, and they’ve done extremely well for us.”

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This level of development bodes well for the future of the club, with Brillante echoing the view that this squad was built for the long-haul.

“Building a side to be good for several years is what you try to do in the process of creating a team,” he said.

“Developing our youth so that when older guys move on is important to make the transition easier… those guys can step into those roles and feel comfortable straight away.”

If the views of their coach and captain are anything to go by, the Victory faithful should be very excited for what the years ahead may bring.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Mitchell Turner
Third Year Undergraduate Arts Student at Monash University (Journalism Major). Generic sports tragic living out my failed dreams of going pro vicariously through other people.

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