Brimmer’s Alexander-Arnold texts, Popa’s winning guarantee

Melbourne Victory star Jake Brimmer joined Daniel Garb, Robbie Cornthwaite and Amy Chapman on this week’s Official A-Leagues Podcast to dissect the thrilling derby, while reflecting on the midfielder’s Liverpool experience.

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Jake Brimmer left Merseyside in 2017 but the former Liverpool youngster still has a connection with the Premier League giants.

Brimmer spent three years within the six-time European champions’ youth setup, having first appeared on Liverpool’s radar in 2013 during their tour of Australia.

The Australian, who signed for Liverpool as a 16-year-old in 2014, played alongside the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and the pair remain in contact years later.

“I still keep in contact with quite a few boys there,” Melbourne Victory star Brimmer told the Official A-Leagues podcast.

“I message Trent here and there when it’s his birthday. That’s probably the only time we talk but we always keep in touch with that.

Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“Ovie Ejaria and Shamal George. I still keep in touch with a lot of people. It’s good to keep those friends from afar.”

Using that Liverpool experience, Brimmer is spearheading Victory’s rise back to the top of the A-League Men’s competition under Tony Popovic.

The 23-year-old has reunited with Popovic after the pair worked together at Perth Glory, where they were crowned Premiers in 2018-19 before losing the Grand Final.

Brimmer’s first season back home in Melbourne did not go according to plan – Victory finished with the wooden spoon for the first time in the club’s history.

But with Popovic at the helm, Victory are banishing those demons of 2020-21 as AAMI Park begins to rock again following last week’s epic 2-2 derby against defending champions Melbourne City.

Victory have won three of their opening five matches to be third in the standings and three points behind leaders Macarthur.

“We’re guaranteed to win games,” Brimmer said of Popovic and his relationship with the former Glory and Western Sydney Wanderers boss. “That’s the biggest and most exciting thing. I have that feeling I had in his first season in Perth.

“It’s going to be hard to actually lose a game of football because he drives us to get that winning mentality. He strives for greatness and we’ve all jumped on board. I’m buzzing to be a part of that again.”

“The comradery between the backroom staff, from the office to the physio to everyone in the club,” Brimmer added. “Everyone coming together as one and realising where we’ve gone wrong. Changing and going back to what Victory is and that’s a winning team and winning championships.

“It’s a massive, massive change from last year to this year. The boss has brought that belief back into the club and it’s great to see.”

READ: Was that a GF preview? 17 seconds sums up epic derby

Saturday’s Melbourne derby has been the talk of the competition after Victory led and conceded twice in a couple of minutes before substitute Nicholas D’Agostino came off the bench to equalise with nine minutes remaining amid wild celebrations.

“Unbelievable game for both sides,” said Brimmer. “For Channel 10 and the A-League, they got a taste of a real derby. Something that has been lacking for the past two years, in terms of Melbourne Victory’s side.

“We obviously we need to move on and be ready for our game on Boxing Day against Western United, but what a game.”