Milligan set to make debut


Defender Mark Milligan is set to make his Melbourne Victory debut against his former club Sydney FC in Thursday’s Australia Day clash at AAMI Park.

Defender Mark Milligan is set to make his Melbourne Victory debut against his former club Sydney FC in Thursday’s Australia Day clash at AAMI Park.

Victory coach Jim Magilton said that assuming the final paperwork was concluded in time, Milligan, who is on loan from J-League 2 side JEF United, would take his place in the starting line up.

“He is a very good player and he is someone that we need. That sort of character in the football club and that sort of quality. I’m hoping everything is cleared and I think he’ll start,” Magilton said.

The coach said the club had worked hard to secure Milligan and that he arrives at the club ready to play despite having not featured in a competitive match since November 20.

“When we knew he was available, we did everything we could, finding out everything about him and asking all the right questions and inevitably it all came down to the fact he is a good player and he is someone who can improve our squad so we said let’s get him in,” he said.

“He’s in great nick. Obviously, he hasn’t played for a month or so, that would be a concern. We’ll see how he goes through the game. He’s an experienced player, so hopefully he will use all of that experience and hopefully he doesn’t have to expend too much energy.”

Milligan is the first example of Magilton living up to his promise of bringing fresh blood in to the club, but he won’t be the last, with the Victory having a marquee visa spot available after finalising Ricardinho’s exit from the club.

“We need the right people in the building, so we are going to be diligent with who we bring in. I think it’s important that people we bring in obviously improve the squad and it has to be the right person,” Magilton said.

Spaniard Ubay Luzardo, a defender who has been playing for Hong Kong outfit Kitchee SC, has been invited to trial with the club with a view to possibly filling a spot on the roster.

“We’re assessing him as well. He’s another player who came onto our radar and we had an opportunity to bring him over and assess him over the next week. He’s another good player.”

Magilton said he had a busy time assessing possible targets, especially in defence where he thinks the Victory are undermanned and think Luzardo could fill the void.

“I’m DVD’d out to be honest. There’s only so many DVDs of players you can see, but I like what I saw. I saw a few games pre-season, he played against Chelsea and Blackburn and I like what I see,” he said.

“I think we need to address certain situations at this football club and another defender is not going to harm us.”

“We’re one injury away from a crisis. We just don-t have the numbers on the roster. We’re fully packed with midfield players.”

“We need defenders in the football club. The boys we’ve had in the football club have been overworked. Far too much work for more liking. We’re trying to get numbers in so we can have competition for places in that area.”