NPL preview: Victory v Port Melbourne


Melbourne Victory will look to steer its PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria campaign back to safety when it hosts Port Melbourne at Epping Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

A humbling 3-0 loss away to league strugglers Northcote City in Round 14 provided a stark reminder of the stern challenges Victory will need to overcome to feature in Victoria’s top tier in 2017.

The defeat was compounded by the news that captain Joey Katebian will play his final game for the club on Sunday, after signalling his departure on Tuesday.

This will not be the only change at Victory, with the announcement that Gareth Naven will take the reigns as NPL/NYL head coach, beginning next month.

The former Perth Glory captain and assistant coach will work alongside existing development coach Vaughan Coveny.

Victory welcomes a Port Melbourne side fresh from its progression to the final round of Victorian Westfield FFA Cup qualifiers.

Port and Victory faced off in Round 2 at JL Murphy Reserve, with the Sharks prevailing 1-0 thanks to Jamie De Abreu’s first-half strike.

Coached by Eric Vassiliadis, the Sharks have endured a topsy-turvy period since then on their way to consolidating eighth position in the standings.

The likes of De Abreu, Adrian Zahra and David Stirton loom as big threats up front, ensuring Victory’s rearguard will need to be at its best.

A win for Victory could see it exit the relegation zone and provide a perfect send-off for Katebian.

Entry is $10 for adults, $5 for concession and free for children 15 and under.

The under-20s kick off at 1.00pm, followed by the seniors at 3.00pm.

PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria 2016 Round 15

Melbourne Victory v Port Melbourne 
Sunday, June 5, 3:00 AEST
Epping Stadium, Epping