Victory determined to finish NPL campaign strongly


Melbourne Victory’s PlayStation 4 NPL Victoria team is determined to finish the 2016 season strongly despite being stripped of competition points.

The club’s NPL side was docked six points, and received an additional six-point suspended penalty, after a recent ruling from Football Federation Victoria’s Independent Disciplinary Tribunal.

It has left the team with a total of four points for the season, and a mountain to climb to avoid relegation from Victoria’s top tier.

The determination coincided with the arrival of new NPL/NYL head coach Gareth Naven, who took charge of his first game at the weekend against Bentleigh Greens.

“We can’t control the people who have made those decisions,” Naven said.

“Obviously nobody is happy to lose six points. We’re just focused on what we can control, and that’s our performance over the next seven weeks.”

Naven was impressed with the players’ response on the pitch – a narrow 2-1 loss against a Bentleigh team that sits second on the ladder after 19 rounds.

“I thought the boys worked really hard. They applied themselves to some of the stuff we did during the week,” Naven said.

“They had a good attitude, but at the end of the day we still want to win games.”

Having worked extensively in youth development in Western Australia before his arrival in Melbourne, Naven is looking forward to working with an impressive group of talent at Victory.

“I was just really happy that Melbourne Victory gave me the opportunity to get back into this field,” he said.

“All of the young blokes here have talent and ability and I’m excited by what I see.”

Victory’s next PS4 NPL Victoria match is against Oakleigh Cannons on Friday night.