NPL preview: Kingston City v Victory

Kingston City v Victory
Valley Park Events Centre
Sunday, August 28, 2022
Kick-off: 2:00pm AEST


Melbourne Victory will have the chance to earn promotion into the NPLM 2 this Sunday when they take on Kingston City.

The promotion-relegation play-off will take place at the neutral venue of the Valley Park Events Centre in what is sure to be a fiery contest.

The winning side will join an expanded 14-team NPLM 2 in 2023.

Victory finished fourth in the NPLM 3 following a strong season under the guidance of Joe Palatsides.

Several young players made their mark in the team across the season, showcasing some of Australian football’s best young talents.

Will Wilson signed his first professional contract with Victory after another eye-catching season in the academy side, whilst Franco Lino and Alexander Menelaou were both selected for Trevor Morgan’s Young Socceroos training camp earlier this month.

Achieving promotion would cap off another impressive campaign and ensure the club’s youngsters are able to test themselves against even stronger opposition in 2023.

Victory come into the game following some inconsistent results to finish their NPLM 3 season, including last week’s 1-0 loss to Nunawading City.

However, the team’s best performances over the last month have come on their travels, with wins away to the likes of Geelong SC and Ballarat City.

Victory will be eager to raise their level ahead of this weekend’s clash with a Kingston outfit which fell just short of safety in the NPLM 2.

Kingston’s final day draw with Bulleen Lions combined with unfavourable results elsewhere sealed their play-off fate.

Despite a relatively strong first half of the season, Kingston have endured a poor run of results in recent months and failed to win a league fixture since the start of June.

However, recent form carries reduced significance in a clash as monumental as the one set for Sunday.

A one-off tie with so much on the line will be sure to bring out the best of both teams.

Player in focus

Adem Duratovic has consistently been the focal point of Victory’s attacks in 2022, scoring nine league goals across the season.

Kingston finished their regular season campaign with the second-most goals conceded in the NPLM 2, suggesting Duratovic could play a key role in the game as he looks to lead Victory to promotion.

This week

Women’s State League 4 West: Victory Afghan Women’s Team v Brimbank Stallions (Sunday, August 28 at 3:00pm at Ron Barassi Senior Reserve)
NPLM 3 Victoria: Kingston City v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, August 28 at 2:00pm AEST at Valley Park Events Centre)
U21 NPLM 3 Victoria: Melbourne Victory v Box Hill United (Saturday, August 27 at 12:30pm AEST at Epping Stadium)
U18 NPL 1: Glen Eira v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, August 28 at 3:15pm at State Football Centre)
U16 NPL 1: Glen Eira v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, August 28 at 1:15pm at State Football Centre)
U15 NPL 1: Glen Eira v Melbourne Victory (Sunday, August 28 at 11:30am at State Football Centre)
U14 NPL 1: Melbourne Victory v Brunswick Juventus (Sunday, August 28 at 10:00am at State Football Centre)

Last week

Women’s State League 4 West: BYE
NPLM 3 Victoria: Victory 0 Nunawading City 1
U21 NPLM 3 Victoria: Victory 0 Nunawading City 1
U18 NPL 1: Victory 1 Avondale 0
U16 NPL 1 (Sunday): Victory 8 Hume City 1
U16 NPL 1 (Wednesday): Victory 2 Melbourne City 2
U15 NPL 1: Victory 6 St Albans Saints 0
U14 NPL 1: Victory 5 Glen Eira 1