Confident Victory ready for Finals Series


Melbourne Victory will enter the Hyundai A-League 2016 Finals Series confident it can make an impact, according to captain Carl Valeri.

Victory is unbeaten in its last six games in all competitions, including its past four Hyundai A-League matches.

The team finished the regular season with a 0-0 draw against Brisbane Roar at the weekend, and the teams will again face off in Friday night’s Elimination Final at Suncorp Stadium.

While Victory would need to create history by winning the Championship from sixth position, Valeri believes his side has the ability to do it.

“I have almost too much belief in this team,” Valeri said.

“There’s a feeling amongst us that we’re the team that can do it.

“We’re not a wildcard, which I heard someone say, it’s not the case. We fancy our chances.

“We were inconsistent this season, we know, and we should have done better, but we’ve taken in form in to the finals, which is important.

“Whether you finished first, second or sixth you have to take form in to the finals and I believe we’ve done that.”

“I really do believe that when Victory is at its best, we can beat anyone.

“When we put in a performance, it may not be pretty at times, but when we perform together, we can come up with a good result.”

Victory received a boost to its Finals Series chances with Valeri starting his first Hyundai A-League match since Round 8 against Roar.

He got through 62 minutes in his customary holding midfield role, guiding a youthful team to an important point.

Valeri had previously been sidelined with a rare inflammatory condition affecting part of his brain.

“I’m just putting myself out there. I’m available for the team, whatever it needs me to do,” he said.

“It’s a bit of a bonus really, I didn’t expect to play any part in this season and now I’m here. I was lucky enough to start (on Saturday night) and I feel good.

“I’ve had no symptoms and I’m recovering well, which is great.

“Obviously it’s hard, I had four months off and to get back into it, it’s not easy.

“The A-League’s at a high rhythm and you do need to be able to run. But the club has been fantastic, the medical staff are looking after me and we’ll just see.”

For ticketing information for week one of the Hyundai A-League 2016 Finals Series, click here.