Refreshing changes had to be the way forward for Melbourne Victory

Refreshing changes had to be the way forward for Melbourne Victory


Each offseason, fans often grow frustrated with players only transferring between A-League clubs and while this has continued this time around – things are beginning to improve.

After the conclusion of the last campaign, it would be fair to suggest that the A-League was crying out for new talent to be brought to our shores and fresh faces to be introduced at clubs.

Melbourne Victory have done exactly that this winter, refreshing their squad despite last season’s championship.

They were moves that simply had to be made.

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After all, seven members from the club’s first championship under Kevin Muscat in 2015 were in the playing squad at the beginning of last season.

On grand final day in May, five players from that team took to the pitch with Mark Milligan and Jason Geria have departed at various stages of last season.

But since their title the Victory have made some huge calls off the field, which has them in a better place than last season.

Championship winners Besart Berisha (Sanfreece Hiroshima), James Donachie (Jeonnam Dragons), Leroy George (Baniyas), Stefan Nigro (Brisbane Roar), Matias Sanchez (released) and Rhys Williams (Al-Qadsiah) have all moved onto their next chapter as has exciting youngster Christian Theoharous who joined Borussia Monchengladbach.

Others to depart the club have included Mitch Austin (released), Cameron McGlip (Birmingham City) and Pierce Waring (Cerezo Osaka).

While several high quality players are no longer with Muscat’s side, most importantly the Victory have covered their losses with impressive signings.

So far this offseason the Victory have welcomed Corey Brown and Storm Roux from A-League rivals as well as the returning Nick Ansell.

But it is the international names which have supporters of the club excited.

Led by Japanese star Keisuke Honda’s arrival, the defending A-League champions have made a serious splash in the transfer market highlighting their ambitions for the upcoming season.

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Combined with the signings of Raul Baena, Georg Neidermeier and Ola Toivonen the Victory have quickly pieced together arguably the strongest squad in the A-League.

While it was sad to see the likes of Berisha go, given his services to the competition since arriving at the Brisbane Roar, fresh faces is what Victory needed to stay close to the top of the pile.

For example, despite scoring 13 league goals last season Berisha looked well below the player that he used to be when he first arrived at the Victory.

Age is no longer on his side and a fresh challenge was what he required at this stage of his career. In the greater scheme, Victory made the right decision in moving him on.

The faces Victory have acquired for the upcoming season have fans extremely excited about their prospects.

As one of the biggest clubs in the competition, Victory must be competing at the top each and every season in only a 10-team competition.