Celeski after Olympic flow-on effect

Olyroos standout Billy Celeski hopes his impressive Beijing campaign can give him the springboard to a stellar Hyundai A-League season.

Olyroos standout Billy Celeski hopes his impressive Beijing campaign can give him the springboard to a stellar Hyundai A-League season.

While Australia was winless and failed to progress beyond the group stage of the tournament, Celeski impressed with his clever link-up play in midfield.

In the final match of the first phase of competition, a 1-0 defeat to Ivory Coast, Celeski was again one of his country's standouts. Just three days later he was back in the Victory strip for the opening-round clash with Sydney.

He played 30 minutes, admitting he was exhausted but desperate to help his team.

Now Celeski is refreshed and ready to use the battles he waged with the likes of Chelsea star Salomon Kalou and Barcelona's wonderboy Lionel Messi to guide Victory towards the top half of the league table.

"As a whole, the team was disappointing. We didn't perform as well as we could," Celeski said.

"The experience itself was great for all of us and hopefully we can take something away from it for our careers."

"Those players have got so much respect out on the field," he said of the likes of Messi and Kalou.

"Messi is just buzzing about so sharp. You can't really get near him."

"I think with players like that in their team they really held them together and made a difference for them."

"I'm fairly happy with how I performed. It's given me confidence leading into this new A-League campaign."

Celeski's national duties meant he missed much of his club's pre-season, including the Cup win against the Phoenix.

He returns understanding a place in the starting line-up is within reach but not a given.

"We've recruited really well. There is a lot of depth in this team now," he said.

"We showed against Sydney that we're going to be contenders, top-four and hopefully finals football."

"I don't think anyone should (expect to start). It's healthy competition now that we've got more depth in the team whether it's midfield or up front."

"It's healthy for us."

Victory memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are currently available from the Victory Shop, 236 Swan Street, Richmond, by calling 1300 GO MVFC or online by clicking here.