Billy takes a breather

After an exhausting August which could prove career defining, Billy Celeski is happy to put his feet up this weekend and start thinking ahead.

After an exhausting August which could prove career defining, Billy Celeski is happy to put his feet up this weekend and start thinking ahead.

There are few footballers who would have covered as many miles at the dynamic Victory midfielder over the past four weeks, having played three Olympic Games games in China, then league matches in Sydney, Wellington and Melbourne.

At the end of it all, Celeski has enhanced his reputation at the national level by being one of the standout Australian players at the Olympics, while he has gone a long way to stamping himself in an in-form Melbourne starting line-up.

“I’m really going to enjoy this week and relax over the weekend. It’s been quite hectic, especially with all the travelling and coming back into the Sydney game, and then Wellington the week after,” Celeski said.

Celeski arrived back in Australia after the Olympics with a sense he had taken his chance to shine in what was an ultimately disappointing campaign for the Olyroos.

“On a personal level, I was quite happy with myself. I guess I went into the Olympic campaign, maybe as a reserve player, coming off the bench as an impact. I thought I did that quite well against Serbia, and it got me a starting XI berth. I rally enjoyed my time at the Olympics, obviously I’m disappointed we didn’t go through , but it’s given me some confidence ahead of the new A-League season,” he said.

The positive feelings from the Olympics have carried into the A-League season, with Melbourne sitting pretty on top of the table with two big wins in its past two matches.

“We’re really excited with how we have started, but we are not getting ahead of ourselves. It’s only three games in. We’re just concentrating on making sure the Telstra Dome is a tough place to come and get a result and we’re going to build on our style of game,” he said.

Coach Ernie Merrick has given Celeski the freedom to find his own role within the team. He wants the former Perth Glory player to attack down the wings, but defend down the middle.

“Going forward, he’s given me a bit more freedom, with getting forward and helping Carlos. And just defensively, we’ve all got a job. If we’re compact and solid and stick to the structure, then he’s quite happy for that,” he said.

Celeski very much enjoyed last Friday’s 5-0 win over the Jets, and said it was great having Archie Thompson back in the side.

“I think whenever Archie’s out there, he adds a bit of spark. We were all happy to be out there. We were all inter-passing and really enjoying everyone’s touches on the ball. What Fab (Ney Fabiano) brings, and Carlos (Hernandez) and Danny (Allsopp) up front. When Archie came on, it all got us buzzing and we were really up for it after that,” he said.

“With the runs our strikers made, it’s just a matter of finding them. Carlos is so good on the ball and holding it up and playing those through balls. We try to look for those players as much as we can and let them do what they do. That’s Inter-passing and getting in behind and scoring goals.”