Victory Academy Update | April

Academy Operations Manager Damir Kulas provides an Academy update after an action-packed month of action in April.

Melbourne Victory’s Senior Men’s VPL1 team continues to excel after extending its unbeaten start to the season to 11 games while our Junior Academy teams prepare for the start of the Junior Boys NPL Tier 1 competition this weekend.

Senior Academy

Coming into April, the Senior VPL1 Men were hoping to extend its undefeated start to the season which saw the team claim five wins from their opening seven games. Not only was that streak extended to 11 games following four consecutive wins, but Joe Palatsides’ side has now opened a seven-point lead at the top of the competition ladder to sit with 29 points from a possible 33.

A commanding 4-1 away win over Werribee City was followed up with a hard-fought 2-1 home win over Brunswick City. Langwarrin was then defeated 3-1 away from home in what was at the time a clash between the league’s top two sides who both entered the game unbeaten. A 5-2 win over FC Bulleen Lions rounded out an impressive month of football for Victory.

Eli Adams, Adem Duratovic and Jesse Hoey are the leading goalscorers for the VPL1 team, having all netted 5 times this season while Marc Petheriotis (4 goals), Luka Kolic (3 goals), Matt Bozinovski (2 goals), Jack Mihailidis (2 goals) and Tommaso Minutoli (2 goals) have all scored on multiple occasions. 

Also winning four from four in April was the free-scoring U23s side who scored 19 goals across four games, including an impressive 3-2 win over FC Bulleen Lions whose 100% start to the season came to an end. Central to the team’s 100% record over the past month has been striker Daniel Lazarevski who sits third in the competitions Golden Boot standings with nine goals from eight games.

Junior Academy

For the third consecutive season, Melbourne Victory’s Junior Academy was one of four Victorian sides to have each of their four age JBNPL age groups qualify for NPL Tier 1. Three out of those four teams did so by finishing first in JBNPL North over the course of 11 games of pre-qualification football.

Not only did each team finish as the highest scorers in their respective leagues, but they also all conceded the fewest number of goals across those 11 games. Some highlights included:

  • U14s (coached by Kristian Popovic) – finished first while maintaining a 100% record while scoring a total of 100 goals in 11 games. Levi Buttigieg (17 goals) and Adam Awad (15 goals) finished one-two in the league Golden Boot standings.
  • U15s (coached by Jake ten Hacken) – finished second after winning 10 out of their 11 games. Orlando Chrysis (13 goals) and Ali Abili (11 goals) were second and third in the league Golden Boot standings.
  • U16s (coached by Johnathan Mikho) – finished first after winning 10 out of 11 games with Cristian Miano (18 goals) and Edon Ajrovski (14 goals) second and third in the league Golden Boot standings.
  • U18s (coached by Joaquin Griffiths Moreno) – undefeated first-place finish after winning nine of out their 11 games. Patrick Wall (10 goals) and Alex Lee (9 goals) were second and third in the league Golden Boot standings.

Attention now turns towards the JBNPL Tier 1 season which commences this Sunday morning as all four of our team host FC Bulleen Lions at Darebin International Sports Centre, in what is round one of a 22-round season that concludes in late September.

From a representative standpoint, Alex Houridis (U18), James Houridis (U18) and goalkeeper Oskar von Schrenk (U18) represented the Joeys in their recent tour of Italy, with all three players also gaining experience in the Victory U23s so far this season. Meanwhile, U16s midfielder Danial Herwan spent time in camp with the Singapore Youth U16 National Team.

Coaching Departure

Club legend Rodrigo Vargas has resigned from his position as U23s coach after three seasons coaching the team. We wish Roddy all the best going forward and thank him for his exceptional contributions to our Academy Program over the last three seasons.