Broxham inks new deal

Melbourne Victory midfielder Leigh Broxham will remain at the club until the end of the 2011/12 season after signing a new three-year deal on Tuesday.

Melbourne Victory midfielder Leigh Broxham will remain at the club until the end of the 2011/12 season after signing a new three-year deal on Tuesday.

It has been a long journey for the 21-year-old who has had an up-and-down start to his career at Victory since making his debut in the 2006/07 season after coming to the club as a boot boy.

He made four appearances off the bench in his debut year, including playing the last 30 minutes of the 6-0 demolition of Adelaide in the Grand Final, and was a key player in the following season, starting 16 matches.

However, he only managed a handful of appearances as a substitute last season, but he bounced back and this year he has taken his game to a new level, featuring in all 16 of Melbourne’s matches and starting in 13 of them.

Broxham was delighted to sign the new deal and hopes to continue to improve at Victory in the coming season.

“It was a good deal … I’m happy I’ve been playing a lot more this year so there’s no reason to go anywhere else,” he said after training on Tuesday morning.

“It didn’t all just happen straight away, it was a process … and that was something that I thought about over the time when my contract was offered.”

“It’s not always just about money, I thought about my footballing career, but at the end of day I sat down and spoke with Ernie and decided that I did want to stay in Australia for a few more years at least, so I thought this is the best place to do it now that I’m establishing myself a bit more this year.”

“It’s a good club to be at, there’s a lot of success here and I think a lot of people just want to be a part of the success.”

Broxham still has ambitions of trying his luck overseas at some point in his career, but for the moment he is focused on establishing himself as a first-team regular and with fellow midfielder Grant Brebner sidelined for six weeks with an ankle injury, now is the perfect time for Broxham to show his worth.

“Me and him (Brebner) have chopped and changed a little bit this year, he was coming into some good form and he was playing well and he deserved to be playing at the time. He’s injured now and it’s an opportunity for me, it’s unlucky for him but I can’t stand around and ponder about it … If I get the nod I’ll do the job and hopefully when he comes back I keep him out of the team as well,” he said.

“By the time (the contract) finishes I’ll be 25, so I think I’d want to be established as a regular by then, because you come up to your peak by then.”

“I’ll reassess when it comes to then, but everyone sort of has their ambitions and goals to play overseas. Obviously you want to go and test yourself against different quality … By (the end of my contract) maybe I might want to go, I might want to stay.”

With the new Melbourne franchise signaling its interest in the midfielder, Melbourne football operations manager Gary Cole was pleased to have secured the youngster’s signature and praised his versatility.

“I think he’s just been a great servant to the club, he obviously plays in a defensive or a holding midfield role, but he’s flexible enough, I think last week he slotted in as a full-back fine and what I like is that he knows that if he’s going to continue to make it he’s got to work more on his ability to play an attacking role and be able to play the ball forward more often,” Cole said.

“He’s got a great opportunity for him to re-establish, Grant’s going to be out for somewhere between four and six weeks so an opportunity to get in there and re-establish himself and make it hard for Brebster to take it back from him.”

“It’s great to have depth, we believe this is the best squad we’ve got in terms of depth and balance, and there should be competition for spots.”