Broxham hails Valeri’s arrival

​Rather than fearing for his place in the Melbourne Victory first XI, Leigh Broxham has hailed the arrival of Carl Valeri as crucial to the team’s lofty A-League ambitions.

Valeri, 29, will play professionally in Australian football for the first time in his career next season, with the 50-cap Socceroo already pencilled in as a likely starter alongside fellow Australia international and club captain Mark Milligan in the Victory midfield.

The signing of a player boasting over 230 league appearances in Italy means Broxham faces the prospect of spending more time on the bench in 2014-15, having matured into an important player and regular starter during the last two campaigns.

But the versatile ‘Big V’ stalwart chose to put a positive spin on his potential demotion ahead of what will be the club’s first full season with Kevin Muscat at the helm.

“Every year there’s always competition for spots,” he told Goal Australia.

“It’s healthy, it’s good for a football club. Not many teams end up starting with the same 11 players every week.”

Having lost Billy Celeski to Al-Shaab in July last year, Victory were often stretched in midfield, with youngsters Rashid Mahazi and Jimmy Jeggo, the latter now with Adelaide United, struggling to cope during some matches in the absence of one or both of Milligan and Broxham.

“Last year there was a lot of times where I would have to go play somewhere else (on the field) or Millsy was away with the national team,” Broxham said.

“We both had a few injuries along the way or suspensions.

“Some of the youngsters that were coming in were okay for a one or two games. But at a young age it’s hard … to perform week, in week out.

“And Carl coming in provides that experience if players are missing. And it creates good competition as well, it’s motivating for players, for someone like myself as well. “

The acquisition of Valeri is just one aspect of Victory’s latest potential assault on the A-League title, with centre-back Matthieu Delpierre and striker Besart Berisha also joining the club.

According to Broxham, head coach Muscat – with new tools at his disposal – is beginning to alter the blue print left behind by predecessor Ange Postecoglou.

“As most good coaches would do, they have their own philosophy, their own ideas,” he said.

“He’s tinkered with a few things. Being his first year last year, I think mid-way through the year, it was a wise thing to do to keep going with what we had. He’s got his ideas now, he’s slowly implementing them.

“While we’re getting fit he’s not making too many changes at the moment. Probably in the coming weeks we’ll be getting more and more information of what he wants and how he wants us to play.”

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