Valeri returns to Victory in important off-field role

Carl Valeri has made a return to Melbourne Victory, taking up a role with the club’s welfare programs.

The 34-year-old called time on his professional playing career at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 campaign after five seasons at the club, winning two Championships, a Premiers’ Plate and FFA Cup title.

The former Caltex Socceroos midfielder didn’t hang up the boots completely, signing to play with Dandenong City for the remainder of the 2019 Victorian NPL season.

But Victory always wanted to keep Valeri involved with the club and confirmed on Saturday he had accepted a full-time role focusing on leadership, culture and welfare.

“This is an important appointment for our club as Carl has always been a strong leader and someone who embodies Melbourne Victory’s values,” Victory said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, Victory officials say they have made “significant progress” in the search for a new head coach.

The four-time Hyundai A-League champions have a five-person selection panel looking to find Kevin Muscat’s replacement after he ended his 14-year association with the club last month.

“We’re attracting interest locally and from around the world, the calibre of talent has been impressive, leaving us confident in finding the right person to deliver the outcomes we are all seeking,” Victory said in a statement on the club’s website.

“This appointment is certainly the club’s priority. We are getting closer.”