Melbourne Victory confirms AFC Champions League squad

Melbourne Victory today confirmed its 28-man squad for the upcoming Asian Champions League campaign.

International stars Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen headline the squad that will look to better the Club’s previous performances in the tournament, the best being a Round of 16 berth in 2016.

Head Coach Kevin Muscat noted the AFC regulations stating each competing side is permitted to name three international players in their squad, plus a fourth if that player is from an AFC member nation.

“A-League regulations allow for five foreign players without restriction, which we’ve filled this season with our internationals Kosta Barbarouses, Raul Baena, Georg Niedermeier, Toivonen and Honda,” said Muscat.

“For our ACL squad Toivonen and Honda are joined by Barbarouses and Baena as our international players for the tournament.

“Unfortunately, one had to be omitted and Georg is unlucky to be that player from our roster.

“He has displayed nothing but professionalism since arriving and is a popular member of the team. Georg has a vital role to play during the Champions League period, where fixtures come thick and fast at home as the A-League season overlays.”

Melbourne Victory has been drawn in Group F, alongside Chinese powerhouse Guangzhou Evergrande and Daegu FC of Korea. 

The fourth and final team of the group will be determined via a playoff between Japanese side Sanfrecce Hiroshima and Chiangrai United of Thailand on Tuesday 19 February, setting up a potential return to Japan for Honda.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to compete against the best sides in Asia,” said Muscat. 

“This will be our seventh ACL campaign and we’ve planned, recruited and are preparing to perform.

“As a Club we’re aware of the opportunity that’s in front of us – starting at home against Daegu on March 5th – and have picked a squad that we believe will give us every chance to navigate the group stage and progress into the knockout rounds.”

28-man Melbourne Victory ACL Squad:

1. Matthew ACTON
2. Storm ROUX
3. Corey BROWN
4. Keisuke HONDA
6. Leigh BROXHAM
7. Kenny ATHIU
8. Terry ANTONIS
9. Kosta BARBAROUSES
10. James TROISI
11. Ola TOIVONEN
13. Birkan KIRDAR
14. Thomas DENG
15. Raul BAENA
16. Josh HOPE
17. James DONACHIE
19. Rahmat AKBARI
20. Lawrence THOMAS
21. Carl VALERI
23. Jai INGHAM
24. Elvis KAMSOBA
25. Anthony LESIOTIS
27. Aaron ANDERSON
28. Benjamin CARRIGAN
29. Thiel IRADUKUNDA
30. Matthew SUTTON
31. Brandon LAUTON
32. Jack PALAZZOLO
33. Yazid SAID