We look at the key moments from the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season that shaped our run to the 2018 Championship.
Player movement is part of football, but losing two key players mid-season presented Melbourne Victory with a major hurdle to overcome.
Championship-winning captain Mark Milligan, who only returned to the club at the start of the season, departed for Saudi side Al-Ahli at the end of January.
— Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) January 28, 2018
Starting right-back Jason Geria also left, making the move to Japan with JEF Chiba following Victory’s derby win in early March.
With an AFC Champions League campaign to navigate, and a fight to finish as high up the table as possible, the loss of Geria and Milligan certainly made the task much harder.
WATCH: Geria’s message for Victory fans
While Milligan was replaced with Terry Antonis, who starred as Victory charged to the Championship, losing Geria in March made it impossible for Victory to plug the gap through recruitment.
Instead, the team was shuffled around with Stefan Nigro, Matias Sanchez, Thomas Deng and Leigh Broxham all featuring at right-back at some stage.
Dealing with the loss of key players definitely made Victory’s Championship success a little bit sweeter.