Popovic: We’re building something special

Victory coach, Tony Popovic gestures during a Melbourne Victory A-League Men's Practice Match at Gosch's Paddock on October 13, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.

Victory Isuzu UTE A-League Head Coach Tony Popovic senses something special brewing at the Club ahead of their season opener on Saturday night.

Popovic’s men make the trip west to Geelong to face Western United with their eyes firmly on returning with all three points.


The new coach says Victory fans will see a team that will be “enjoyable to watch”.

“It’s a happy group,” Popovic told media this morning. “We feel we’re building something special here at the Club.

“Obviously it takes time, that’s normal. We anticipate we’ll get better and better as the season goes along but that’s not to say we don’t feel we’re ready to start tomorrow.”

On a personnel front, Popovic expects a near-full squad to select from with Matt Spiranovic the only confirmed out.

“All the players have worked extremely hard and they’re all pretty much ready to go,” he said.

“Spiranovic won’t be available tomorrow, but we anticipate all the (other) players to train today and we’ll see how they all are for tomorrow.

“He’s (Spiranovic) had a few little niggles along the way, nothing serious with Matty but he just needs a little bit more time after his long layoff from playing.”

Western United enter the game off the back of a win over Newcastle in the FFA Cup last week at the same venue as Saturday’s clash.

On the other hand, Victory played five pre-season games with NPL opponents, winning four and drawing one.

Popovic expects a “tough game” against Western, led by his former Socceroo teammate John Aloisi.

“We haven’t had any recent discussions but I know John well from playing together and we’ve had some great battles as opposing coaches,” he said.

“Tomorrow we’ll both be going out there to get three points.

“We saw their FFA Cup game. It’s hard to judge on one game but I’m sure they’ll be very well organised and have some outstanding individuals.”

Kick-off is at 7:45pm AEDT at GMHBA Stadium.