Victory’s winning feeling ahead of new season

Recent arrival Carl Valeri reckons Melbourne Victory’s squad ahead of the 2014-15 Hyundai A-League season has a similar feel to the teams he played in when winning titles in Italy.

Valeri has returned to Australia ahead of the new Australian domestic campaign after 12 years in Italy and is convinced he has chosen the right club to make his senior league debut in his home country.

The defensive midfielder won two league titles in the lower divisions of Italy – Serie C1 with Grosseto and Serie B with Sassuolo – and has claimed Kevin Muscat’s Victory have a similar feel to those successful sides.

“Definitely. Every important season I had in Italy, there was always a fantastic group of players and a fantastic club support behind them,” Valeri said on Monday.

“That’s the key thing. We have everything here. We’ve spoken about it [the A-League championship], we dream about it, it’s our goal but now we’ve just got to get out there and do it.”

Victory will open the new campaign on Friday night at Etihad Stadium against last season’s runners-up Western Sydney Wanderers.

Valeri congratulated the Wanderers on their achievement of reaching the AFC Champions League final last week but insisted the Big V will focus on themselves in preparation for the round one fixture.

“We’re very confident in ourselves, we believe in ourselves and there’s a great trust, not only amongst the players but the whole club,” he said.

“It’s honestly a special feeling here at the club and, you know, I’m not just saying that because the cameras are here, it’s something that they’ve created and something I wanted to be part of.”

Valeri is set to line-up in defensive midfield, covering for the absence of Victory skipper Mark Milligan, who is away with the Socceroos, but the 30-year-old is confident the rest of Muscat’s squad will step up against Western Sydney.

New signings Mathieu Delpierre, Daniel Georgievski and Besart Berisha are certain to play for Victory – as well as Valeri – and the midfielder believes his new team will hit the ground running.

“It’s honestly like we’ve played with each other all our lives,” Valeri said.

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