Kemp is fit and ready to go

Melbourne ironman Matthew Kemp hopes to transfer his indestructible off-season to solid form in Victory’s Hyundai A-League campaign.

Melbourne ironman Matthew Kemp hopes to transfer his indestructible off-season to solid form in Victory’s Hyundai A-League campaign.

Kemp is the only player in the squad to play every minute of every warm-up game and the former Adelaide United man thinks that willing preparation will hold him in good stead for the home and away rounds.

“I am feeling pretty fit and ready to go,” Kemp said after another strenuous training session in Melbourne on Wednesday.

“It’s always a step up once the A-League starts. The intensity will be at a higher level.”

“Hopefully I will be able to get through another 90 minutes.”

“I can’t wait. It’s been a while since the A-League season finished so it’s exciting to get back into it.”

Kemp, one of Melbourne’s best in the Asian Champions League campaign, said he had worked hard on getting his body ready for another year in Australia’s top-flight competition.

“I have just been trying to get the fitness up to scratch. It has been a pretty short pre-season because of the Asian Champions League,” he explained.

“I think it’s been good to get in there and start playing games straight away.”

“Not having a huge break over the off-season was good. We didn’t lose too much fitness.”

“I am feeling really good.”

Kemp, born in Canberra, said a clash with competition favourite Sydney was the ideal initiation.

“I’d imagine Sydney will be up there, they are always in the mix and have a good squad. They will be up there again I would imagine,” he said.

“It’s pretty early but Central Coast and Newcastle always put out a pretty good squad as well.”

“Anyone can be up there, you have just got to get the wins under your belt early. That is what we are going out to do this weekend.”

“If you start off well and get out in front it is easier to keep that lead and keep the pressure on because you have got that winning momentum going.”

“We are looking to win our first few games and keep the momentum going for the rest of the season.”

Kemp tipped the fresh faces at Melbourne – midfielders Jose Luis Lopez and Tom Pondeljak, frontman Ney Fabiano and Socceroo Michael Thwaite – to enhance Victory.

“The guys we have bought in are looking really good.”

“I think they are really going to strengthen the team from last season. Everyone that has come in is looking good.”

“We are going to have a good squad but we are going to have really good depth as well.

“If we get any injuries or suspensions I think we will be able to cover everybody.”

In selection news, Kevin Muscat has shaken a hamstring injury and is expected to play while Nick Ward has been ruled out with a calf complaint.

Two of Melbourne’s players on Olympic duty, Leigh Broxham and Billy Celeski, will fly into Sydney and play for Victory if Australia’s campaign ends on Wednesday night in Beijing.

Victory memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are currently available from the Victory Shop, 236 Swan Street, Richmond, by calling 1300 GO MVFC or online by clicking here