Berger eager to justify faith

Melbourne Victory's pocket dynamo Evan Berger says he is determined to repay the faith the club has shown in him in coming seasons after his rapid improvement this season was rewarded with a new two-year contract.

Melbourne Victory's pocket dynamo Evan Berger says he is determined to repay the faith the club has shown in him in coming seasons after his rapid improvement this season was rewarded with a new two-year contract.

The 21-year-old excitement machine was one of three players to sign new deals with the club on Tuesday with experienced defender Rody Vargas also signing a two-year contract extension while promising back-up keeper Mitch Langerak has signed a three-year deal.

For Berger his new two-year contract, which will tie him to the Victory until the end of the 2010/11 season, continues his meteoric rise since joining Melbourne from Sydney club Marconi last season.

Berger's first season may have been all but ruined by a long-term ankle injury but the patience the club has shown in the speedy left-sided midfielder has been rewarded this season after he helped the Victory to the pre-season title and has started in six of the first seven matches to help Melbourne to top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder after the first third of the season.

Now Berger is determined to repay the club for all the confidence it has instilled in him by taking his game to another level in coming seasons.

"It has all come around quickly but I am very happy with the new deal, I feel settled in Melbourne and I am looking forward to the future," Berger told melbournevictory.com.au.

"It's great to sign for another two years and to be involved with the club for another two years and obviously they (the club) have got a lot of faith in my ability and I would just like to repay that faith they have shown in me over the next two years."

Berger admits while his slow start to life at the Victory last season was frustrating, it has all worked out for the best.

"I came down last season and didn't play a lot but this year I have managed to play a lot of games," he said.

"Being a young player and coming to such a big club it's about patience so I am happy to take my opportunities when they come and it (waiting so long for a first-team opportunity) makes you work harder."

Now having established himself as a key component of the Victory line-up, Berger is hoping that one day he may even join the long line of Melbourne players to have played at international level.

"It's all a learning curve and I have got a long way to go but I want to play as many matches as possible and learn from all the experienced players we have got in our side," he said.

"Down the track I would love to play for the Socceroos and obviously we have got Archie Thompson in the current Socceroos team and (Jose Luis) Lopez and Carlos (Hernandez) are involved with Costa Rica and then we have Rody (Vargas) and 'Musky' (skipper Kevin Muscat) who have been involved with the Socceroos and (Grant) Brebner (with Scotland) so there a lot of players with international experience in the squad."

"So for a young player it's great to pick the brains of these older players and I couldn't ask for better teachers."