Callum McManaman is thrilled to have finally touched down in Melbourne and is eagerly preparing for the new A-League season.
McManaman is now adjusting to life in Melbourne under Head Coach Grant Brebner and working to be match fit, following two weeks in quarantine in Perth after first arriving in Australia.
“It’s been brilliant,” said the 29-year-old. “All the facilities, all the people here – everyone has been very friendly and helpful. The stadium looks great and I am looking forward to playing in it.”
McManaman believes his on-field chemistry with former Luton teammate Jacob Butterfield, who has also signed with Victory, will be restored when the English duo are reunited.
“We have a good relationship on the pitch which will help a lot,” said McManaman.
“He is a good player, very good on the ball, left and right footed. He can take corners with both feet which is very rare. I think the fans will enjoy watching him and we link up quite well together.
“I think the lads will really enjoy playing with him as he likes to get other players on the ball,” he added.
McManaman is continuing his return to full fitness, following a period away from the training ground but is enthusiastic about the new challenge ahead.
“I think I am a few weeks behind,” he admitted.
“Obviously the lads have been training for a while now. I have been running at home but it is not the same as training every day.
“[Grant] Brebner has said he wants to build me up and get me match fit and hopefully I will be flying for the start of the season.”
As the first of three arrivals from the UK, McManaman is impressed by his experience so far and credits Brebner for making the transition easier.
“Brebs has been brilliant with me, even getting me over here he was constantly on the phone,” he said.
“He has been great and showed me about as soon as I landed off the plane. Things like that go a long way.”
With the possibility of Victorians attending sporting events in December, McManaman is driven by the prospect of entertaining Victory’s members and fans.
“That would be brilliant. Football is not the same without fans. We need to get them back in and excite them – hopefully that’s what I can do.”