I popped by the SS Anderson Reserve, home ground of the Port Melbourne Soccer Club, last night to catch Melbourne Victory’s first pre-season friendly against the Port Melbourne Sharks and at the same time, had a first hand look at how some of our new signings would fare against local opponents and they didn’t disappoint.
I was particularly impressed by Jonathan Bru and Jimmy Jeggo, bossing the midfield with their assured passes and spraying the ball ala Scholesy. It was also comforting to see that we didn’t resort to the long ball game and concentrated on keeping the ball even though Port Melbourne was defending well. Hopefully Ange Postecoglou has drilled it into the players to play simple passes, run into spaces and keep the ball.
New Brazilian signing Guilherme Finkler looked like he had the typical flair of a South American player. He was put through by a team mate and he finished with a deft chip with the outside of this right foot to give Melbourne Victory a 1-0 lead mid way through the first half.
Julius Davies and Matthew Foschini both looked lively on the right wing and Davies surprised me with his composure and keen eye for through passes. He was making intelligent runs and was good with both feet and the boy’s only 17 years old! What was even more impressive was that he spent 3 years at Bayern Munich and then a year with Hoffenheim before signing for Victory.
Port Melbourne did eventually equalize just before half time and it was a poor defensive lapse that caused Victory to concede a soft goal.
Ange Postecoglou made a whole heap of changes in the second half and another new signing, Theo Markelis came on for Archie Thompson and he certainly didn’t do his chances any harm with good touches on the ball and was extremely quick with his feet giving his marker lots of trouble with his fast turns. And it was his quick thinking that earned Victory a penalty when he was chopped down from behind and Danny Allsopp stepped up to dispatch the penalty confidently.
The game finished 2-1 to Victory and I think the crowd was certainly pleased with how the team was playing and with superstar Marco Flores and Mark Milligan joining up with the squad soon and with Marcos Rojas away on Olympic duty with New Zealand, the future of the club looks good with this new core batch of players.
I certainly can’t wait for the A-League to start and we can start exorcising the ghost that is Harry Kewell and get on with our winning ways again after last season’s disappointment.
Photos courtesy of the Port Melbourne Sharks Facebook Page.
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