FIFA Break Explained: How Victory remains ready to go

Melbourne Victory’s A-League Men have had an extra week to prepare for their next clash with Wellington, as the competition enters the FIFA Break.

The side were victorious in their last fixture, recording a 2-0 win at home over the Central Coast on Sunday March 19, and will return to action away in New Zealand on Saturday April 1.

Victory’s Strength and Conditioning Coach, Scott Smith, explained the importance of ensuring the break is utilised in the best way possible.

“It’s important to maximise this time when the opportunity presents itself,” Smith explained.

“Players had the opportunity to have a short break, couple of days away from the club, to rest and recover, particularly from the little knocks and bruises a lot of them carry for long periods of the season.”

The break has offered the Club time to focus on specific aspects of physical fitness the usual routine would not allow time for.

“Since the players have returned from the days off, the focus from the physical side has been to expose the players to some areas of their fitness that we don’t normally get many opportunities to work on during a normal in-season week,” Smith said.

“From the football coaches perspective, it’s all been focused on preparing for Wellington and working on individual skills with the players.”

With six crucial games left, a week with no competitive fixture means recovery is a major focus amidst preparations for a busy run home – where the Victory will play three games in seven days after returning.

“The main focus physically has been to firstly allow the players the time to recover and then focus on the individual physical aspects that need attention. The remaining time is spent with the football coaches.”

Since returning to the Club for regular training in preparation for Wellington, Smith said the playing group’s focus is set on returning to action next week, and the task at hand.

“With the short time the players had away from the club, it’s been clear that they are back refreshed and eager for the next game to come around,” Smith continued.

“These extra few days of preparation, particularly individually, has given the players an additional training focus that is always well received.

“This week is about giving the players an opportunity to improve the areas they need to individually.”

Victory’s A-League Men and Women will both travel to New Zealand to take on the Phoenix in a double header at Sky Stadium on Saturday April 1.