Brillante key to Victory midfield revival

Josh Brillante

Josh Brillante’s arrival headlines the major change to Melbourne Victory’s midfield heading into the 2021/22 Isuzu Ute A-League season.

An area of the park Victory had trouble in at times during the previous campaign, Brillante – who has played 167 A-League Men games – adds some much-needed steel and class to the Club’s midfield stocks.

Brillante returns to Australia after a spell overseas, having played at Xanthi under now-Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic.

A five-time Socceroo, Brillante adds established A-League quality to Victory’s midfield ahead of the beginning of the new campaign.

While there have been changes in midfield, they have not been drastic, with Jacob Butterfield having departed after one season with the Club.

Brillante is joined by Rai Marchan, a Spaniard who has left his homeland for the first time in his professional career.

A fresh face in Victory’s midfield, Marchan is also sure to add some more quality to the middle of the park.

Victory stalwart Leigh Broxham is back for another campaign and the versatile Club great is always a reliable option should he be needed in midfield.

Jake Brimmer’s first campaign in Victory colours did not go to plan from a team perspective, but the midfielder impressed.

Brimmer scored five goals and provided five assists in 25 games last season, with his set-pieces in particular regularly causing problems.

Just how Victory lines up under Popovic remains to be seen, but Robbie Kruse is another option as an attacking midfielder.

Kruse is versatile, with the 33-year-old able to play across the front line and as a number 10.

There is also young midfield talent to complement the aforementioned group, with Jay Barnett and Birkan Kirdar having shown positive signs when given their opportunities.

But Brillante, an established A-League Men star, and Marchan, who will be eager to impress, shape as being key to Victory’s revival in midfield.