Victory target ACL knockout stages after naming squad
Melbourne Victory’s AFC Champions League campaign is one step closer after they announced their 28-man squad to take on the best of Asia.
Victory find themselves placed in Group F alongside Guangzhou Evergrande, Daegu FC and the winner of a playoff between Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Chiangrai United.
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Speaking to melbournevictory.com.au, manager Kevin Muscat said his side were keen to prove their worth on the international stage.
"We’re looking forward to the opportunity to compete against the best sides in Asia,” Muscat said.
“This will be our seventh ACL campaign and we’ve planned, recruited and are preparing to perform.
“As a Club we’re aware of the opportunity that’s in front of us – starting at home against Daegu on March 5th – and have picked a squad that we believe will give us every chance to navigate the group stage and progress into the knockout rounds.”
With only four international players, with at least one from Asia, allowed per squad, Muscat said it was a tough decision on who from Victory’s five foreign players would miss the tournament.
German defender Georg Niedermeier was the unlucky non-selection announced by the club.
“A-League regulations allow for five foreign players without restriction, which we’ve filled this season with our internationals Kosta Barbarouses, Raul Baena, Georg Niedermeier, Toivonen and Honda,” Muscat said.
“For our ACL squad Toivonen and Honda are joined by Barbarouses and Baena as our international players for the tournament.
“Unfortunately, one had to be omitted and Georg is unlucky to be that player from our roster.”
Victory will commence their campaign on 5 March against Korean side Daegu.
28-man Melbourne Victory ACL Squad:
1. Matthew ACTON
2. Storm ROUX
3. Corey BROWN
4. Keisuke HONDA
6. Leigh BROXHAM
7. Kenny ATHIU
8. Terry ANTONIS
9. Kosta BARBAROUSES
10. James TROISI
11. Ola TOIVONEN
13. Birkan KIRDAR
14. Thomas DENG
15. Raul BAENA
16. Josh HOPE
17. James DONACHIE
19. Rahmat AKBARI
20. Lawrence THOMAS
21. Carl VALERI
23. Jai INGHAM