Melbourne Victory interim Head Coach Grant Brebner has vowed to give the young players that travelled to Sydney plenty of opportunities in the remaining Hyundai A-League fixtures.
Melbourne’s first match of the A-League restart is against Western United on July 25 at Bankwest Stadium.
Faced with the reality of playing five games in 19 days, Brebner plans on providing the younger players with a platform to prove their worth.
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“In that first game we will definitely have some players making their debut and moving forward, we will have players being thrown into the deep end,” Brebner said.
“Young players can bring the hunger that we need. They are not just here to play that position, they are here to stake a claim for that position.”
20-year-old Anthony Lesiotis stepped into the first team last season and has made 21 appearances for Victory since his debut in 2019.
Brebner is now hoping Aaron Anderson, Birkan Kirdar, Lleyton Brooks and Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio can have a similar impact.
“I don’t treat them as youth team players. I respect that they are young, but for them to step up and feel their worth in this group they need to feel worthy of being here."
Shoes to fill
Following the recent departures of Ola Toivonen and Tim Hoogland, Brebner is relying on squad depth while encouraging individuals to step forward.
“I now have an opportunity to play players and they can step out of the shadows. There is no pressure on us, so we can go about our business and play with freedom,” said Brebner.
A temporary rule change by FIFA will allow teams to make five substitutions in a match, an element which Brebner plans on using to Victory’s advantage.
“We will certainly be looking to make subs en masse and asking the players to give as much as they can. We will then reward them with a breather and get some fresh legs on to inject again.”