Grand Final Ins & Outs: Victory star back from ban, retiring great gets one last shot at glory

The Isuzu UTE A-League Men 2024 Grand Final is HERE!

The teams are in ahead of the 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final, set to play out between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory at Industree Group Stadium on Saturday night.

The Mariners secured the Premiers Plate at the end of the regular season and as a result, secured hosting rights for the Grand Final having finished higher than Victory (third) on the table. Central Coast beat Sydney FC 2-1 on aggregate over two Semi-Final legs to reach the decider, while Victory prevailed over Wellington Phoenix by the same aggregate margin.

The visitors are bolstered by the return of star midfielder Zinédine Machach, who missed both legs of the Semi-Finals through suspension after a red card earned in an Elimination Final win over Melbourne City.

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Machach returns to selection contention alongside Victory veteran and Isuzu UTE A-League games record holder Leigh Broxham. The 36-year-old is set to retire after Saturday’s Grand Final and could take his Isuzu UTE A-League appearance tally to 387 in the decider but hasn’t been selected in either of head coach Tony Popovic’s last two Victory squads.

Victory’s 20-player squad will be reduced to 18 for gameday – as will Central Coast’s. Mariners head coach Mark Jackson has included two players who weren’t in last weekend’s Semi-Final squad: Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Bailey Brandtman. Jackson must decide whether either player gets a spot in his Grand Final squad at the expense of any of their Mariners teammates who featured in last weekend’s 0-0 second-leg Semi-Final against Sydney FC.

Grand Final Ins & Outs

Central Coast Mariners

Full squad: 2. Mikael DOKA, 3. Brian KALTAK, 4. Josh NISBET, 6. Max BALARD, 7. Christian THEOHAROUS, 9. Alou KUOL, 14. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Harry STEELE, 17. Jing REEC, 18. Jacob FARRELL, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (c), 22. Ronald BARCELLOS, 23. Dan HALL, 26. Brad TAPP, 30. Jack WARSHAWSKY, 33. Nathan PAULL, 37. Bailey BRANDTMAN, 39. Miguel DI PIZIO, 99. Ryan EDMONDSON

Ins: 14. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS (promoted), 31. Bailey BRANDTMAN (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 5. Noah SMITH (injured), 27. Sasha KUZEVSKI (injured)

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Melbourne Victory

Full squad: 2. Jason GERIA, 3. Adama TRAORE, 5. Damien DA SILVA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8. Zinedine MACHACH, 10. Bruno FORNAROLI, 11. Ben FOLAMI, 14. Connor CHAPMAN, 17. Nishan VELUPILLAY, 19. Daniel ARZANI, 20. Paul IZZO, 21. Roderick MIRANDA, 22. Jake BRIMMER, 23. Salim KHELIFI, 25. Ryan TEAGUE, 27. Jordi VALADON, 28. Roly BONEVACIA, 37. Kasey BOS, 40. Christian SICILIANO

Ins: 6.Leigh BROXHAM (promoted), 8.Zinedine MACHACH (returns from suspension)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil