Melbourne Victory to host Fulham at Etihad Stadium

Melbourne Victory will host English Premier League side Fulham in an international friendly at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, 11 July.

Melbourne Victory will host English Premier League side Fulham in an international friendly at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, 11 July.

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Established in 1879, Fulham is commonly regarded as London-s oldest professional football club.

Fulham won promotion to the English Premier League in 2001 and has remained there since, recording some of its most memorable moments in the process, including its first UEFA Cup (now UEFA Europa League) appearance in 2003.

Fulham recently finished seventh on the English Premier League ladder, bettering its best ever Premier League result (ninth in 2002) and securing a second UEFA Europa League appearance.

Fulham is set to bring a host of internationals to Etihad Stadium, including Qantas Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, Englishmen Andrew Johnson and Danny Murphy, and American midfielder Clint Dempsey.

The Cottagers will also play Perth Glory and Gold Coast United on its tour of Australia, which Fulham Manager Roy Hodgson believes will bolster the club-s preparations ahead of the new English Premier League season.

“I am very pleased that we can announce our early pre-season plans and, although this season is yet to end, I am looking forward to our trip to Australia,” Hodgson said.

“I know that the climate on the Gold Coast, where we will be based, will help enormously with our planning for next season and we have an opportunity to play three teams of quality who I am sure will want to put on good performances against us, which of course is what one hopes will assist the team in both their personal preparations, but also of course collectively.”
Mark Schwarzer

After being recruited from fellow English Premier League side Middlesbrough last year, Mark Schwarzer quickly established himself as one of the signings of the summer, and one of Fulham-s keys to success.

The Qantas Socceroo, who famously saved two penalties in a shootout against Uruguay to guide Australia to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, is the only player to have featured in every minute of every Premier League match for Fulham this season and is Australia-s most capped goalkeeper.

The fearless custodian is set to represent Australia in its upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and also received a Medal of the Order of Australia this year for his service to football, particularly as an international representative player, and to the community.
Danny Murphy

Arguably the Cottagers- most consistent performer, England international Danny Murphy was appointed skipper in his second season with Fulham, following stints with English Premier League clubs Tottenham, Charlton Athletic and Liverpool.

The influential midfielder, who won seven trophies, including the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup, in seven years with Liverpool, secured his place in Fulham-s history books in 2008 with a headed goal against Portsmouth that kept the club in England-s top flight.

Murphy has nine international caps to his name and was selected in England-s 2002 FIFA World Cup squad, only to succumb to the same metatarsal injury that interrupted David Beckham-s preparations and sidelined Gary Neville from the tournament.