Kevin Muscat has labelled Elvis Kamsoba a ‘breath of fresh air’ ahead of Melbourne Victory’s clash against Newcastle Jets on Saturday night.
The 22-year-old made his first appearance in the Hyundai A-League in Melbourne’s 2-0 loss to Adelaide United, having signed from National Premier League Victoria outfit, Avondale FC.
Muscat heaped praise on Kamsoba but said the youngster’s development has only just begun.
“Elvis was a breath of fresh air for everybody,” said Muscat.
“He’s still, let’s be fair to him, got a lot of work to do but his first impressions are the bundle of enthusiasm and the work rate he produced.
“He’s got a long way to go and with that sort of endeavour he’ll be given every opportunity to develop.”
Kamsoba isn’t the first player to have made the step up from NPL level to the Hyundai A-League for Melbourne Victory.
Last year, Muscat signed Kenny Athiu from Melbourne-based outfit Heidelberg United FC on a season-long loan, before extending the deal in 2018 to a two-year contract.
Players such as Josh Hope and Christian Theoharus have also made the step up, albeit from within Victory's NPL Academy outfit.
Just like Athiu, Kamsoba is showing promising signs and the potential to grow into a consistent starter.
“We’ve done (the transition) with two or three other players in the past, as you know, he’s a little bit different because he spent a good couple of months with us before being able to play,” said Muscat.
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“(Kamsoba) showed with his physical capacity that he’s got the level required, there are just other things that we want to add to his game to make him even more dangerous.
“I think the fact that the full-back on his side, his opponent, was very wary and didn’t venture forward too many times because of the threat Elvis posed.
“We just keep working with him, the expectation should now be realistic to where he’s at.”
Honda injury update
In what is becoming a regular occurrence, Muscat was once more asked about the anticipated return of marquee man, Keisuke Honda.
The 32-year-old Japan international sustained a hamstring injury in December and has been out of action since.
When asked about Honda’s situation ahead of Melbourne’s clash against last year’s grand finalists Newcastle Jets, Muscat played a straight bat.
“At this stage of his rehab we thought it was important for him to be with the physiotherapist and the doctor was with us (in Adelaide) mainly because it’s mainly rehab and indoor stuff he’s doing,” said Muscat.
“But he’s progressing really well, apart from that I can’t shed anymore light.”