Nani headlines talented Victory attack

Victory’s front third will mix emerging stars with established international talent in season 2022/23 as the Club eyes more silverware under Tony Popovic.

42 goals from 26 regular season games ranked fourth in the league last year, proving a healthy combination with their league-leading defence.

Victory recorded the second-most shots on target and fourth-most big chances created in their bounce back campaign.

This time around, Portugese superstar Luis Nani is injected to an attack featuring the firepower of Chris Ikonomidis and Ben Folami on the wings, and the potency of Nick D’Agostino up front.

Nani displayed his versality during his Victory debut in the Cup defeat to Western United, playing across the front three in his short AAMI Park cameo.

The forward has featured more regularly on the wings over impressive pre-season friendly performances across the last month, consistently creating opportunities for himself and others.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to enjoy a different league – one more league for me,” Nani told media at the A-Leagues season launch earlier this week.

“It’s far from where I’m from but I’m so excited for the new challenge.

It’s normal to have eyes on big players and players who can create excitement in the game, so I’m used to it and I’m looking forward to make their (fans) eyes shine and enjoy the moment.”

Ikonomidis has been another pre-season standout with a full training load behind him after experiencing an interrupted lead-up into last season.

D’Agostino could be another feeling fresh ahead of next week’s trip to Sydney, having recovered from shoulder surgery and scoring a brace in the recent friendly against Central Coast.

Tomi Juric and Eli Adams’ additions further bolster the unit.

Juric offers a different look up front for Popovic and also brings immense international experience as part of the Socceroos’ Asian Cup winning squad in 2015 and the 2018 World Cup.

20-year-old Adams has been working closely with Nani over the pre-season as he hones his craft on the wing.

Nani has taken Adams under his wing

Emerging attacking options Nishan Velupillay, Lleyton Brooks and Will Wilson should also earn opportunities to impress over the season.

Victory’s A-League Men season kicks off on Saturday 8 October against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.

Victory’s first home fixture is the following Saturday 15 October against Western Sydney at AAMI Park.

Tickets for the season are on sale now.