Mitch Austin draws high praise after Victory debut


Melbourne Victory winger Mitch Austin has drawn high praise from coach Kevin Muscat after his debut for the club against Juventus at the MCG on Saturday night.

The 25-year-old played a full match on the left wing, with his pace, strength and pinpoint delivery a highlight.

His curling left-foot cross late in the first half almost led to Victory opening the scoring, with Besart Berisha’s header well saved by Juventus goalkeeper Neto.

“He’s got a very good left foot on him. You can see he’s got some big weapons,” Muscat said.

“He can get by people with is pace, he’s not going to get pushed off the ball. 

“Once he gets his shoulder across you, there’s no coming back.

“His awareness when full-backs drop off and try and stop him from penetrating, he crosses the ball in front of them.

“He’s got some decent delivery on him. You could see Bes was licking his lips every time the ball went out there because he could sense an opportunity.

“He’s only been here three weeks, and he’s still understanding and coming to grips with what’s required of him within our structure.”

Austin was pleased with his first performance for Victory and is particularly excited about the partnership he can develop with Berisha.

“I thought I did alright for my first game. I’m certainly still getting fit and I was quite surprised to last out the full game,” Austin said.

“Bes always tells me he’s going to be there in the box. We practise it at training.

“We’ve only been training for a couple of weeks, so once the season starts I think the partnership will be there and it’ll be good for the season.”

Next up for Victory is a tour match against Atletico Madrid at Geelong’s Simonds Stadium on Sunday. Tickets are available here.

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