Football kicks off at AAMI Park with Muscat's Testimonial

Sports Minister James Merlino and Melbourne Victory CEO Geoff Miles today announced that the first football game to be played at the new rectangular stadium, AAMI Park, will be a testimonial game for Kevin Muscat.

Sports Minister James Merlino and Melbourne Victory CEO Geoff Miles today announced that the first football game to be played at the new rectangular stadium, AAMI Park, will be a testimonial game for Kevin Muscat, recognising his significant contribution to national and international football, as well as to Melbourne Victory Football Club.

The event will be held on Friday, May 14 at AAMI Park starting with a curtain raiser between Melbourne Victory Women and reigning Westfield Women-s League Champions Sydney FC at 5pm, followed by Melbourne Victory playing against the Come Play XI at 8pm, with the Come Play XI to be made up primarily of Qantas Young Socceroos.

This will be the first chance for fans to see football played at the purpose built rectangular stadium, AAMI Park, which is something that has been much anticipated and will represent a watershed moment for football in Victoria.

Sports Minister James Merlino was certainly excited about seeing football at AAMI Park saying “The world will soon be in the grip of World Cup fever and Victorians will be able to get a taste of the new stadium and pay tribute to one of the Melbourne Victory-s favourite sons.”

Melbourne Victory CEO Geoff Miles agreed and said “this is a momentous day for Melbourne Victory. We have been eagerly awaiting playing at AAMI Park and the fantastic experience this great stadium will provide for our fans and players. This rectangular stadium with an iconic design will bring the fans right up to the action and deliver a great home ground atmosphere for our players.”

“We greatly appreciate the support of the Victorian Government and Melbourne and Olympic Parks Trust in delivering this great stadium, and would also like to thank Football Federation Australia for their assistance with the opening night.

“Whilst this night is about our members and fans experiencing football for the first time in the new stadium, it is also about celebrating our captain, Kevin Muscat, and acknowledging his illustrious career as part of his testimonial.

“Kevin has made a brilliant contribution to the game and is highly respected by all of the football fraternity. He is an amazing leader and has made an outstanding contribution to Melbourne Victory on and off the field.”

Muscat-s decorated career to date includes playing for Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Glasgow Rangers and Millwall, captaining Millwall to an FA Cup final. He represented his country on 51 occasions, captaining the Socceroos during the Asian Cup in 2006.

Muscat returned to home soil in 2005 to captain Melbourne Victory-s inaugural team, and has since gone on to win two premierships and championships, as well as recently being named captain of the 2010 PFA Team of the Season.

“It-s a tremendous honour that the club have decided to have a testimonial match for me. It has more significance knowing that it-s going to be played at AAMI Park, which will be the first football game played at the stadium”, said Muscat.

“This stadium is a real landmark for football in this city, in this state and in this country, and I for one cannot wait to play in it and for our members and fans to experience it” he said.

Tickets will go on sale through Ticketek to 2009/10 Melbourne Victory members for a priority period of Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 21, and to the general public on Thursday, April 22. Ticket prices start from $31.40 for adults.

Visit melbournevictory.com.au for further ticketing information and prices.