Melbourne Victory came away from a Hyundai A-League match empty-handed for the first time since late October on Wednesday evening, but in debutant Elvis Kamsoba found the brightest of silver linings to bring home.
Kamsoba was named on the left of a front three for Kevin Muscat’s side and following an impressive bow the boss was full of praise.
“I thought he was a breath of fresh air for everybody,” Muscat said on Friday.
“He’s still got a lot of work to do, but his first impression [was great], the bundle of enthusiasm and the work rate that he produced… with that sort of endeavour he’ll be given opportunity to develop.
“I think the full back [on Elvis’ side] was very wary and didn’t venture forward too many times because of the threat Elvis posed.
“We’ll keep working with him and the expectation should now be realistic as to where he’s at.”
The 22-year-old, who joined the Club on January 3, had been training with his new teammates since November and played the full 90 minutes.
He lead his team in chances created (3), tackles (7), tackles won (5) and total duels & duels won (10).
For Muscat’s part, managing Kamsoba’s transition from the NPL to the top tier of Australian football will come down to an ongoing assessment of his ability to back up game-to-game and week-to-week
Having managed that process with the likes of Kenny Athiu and Thomas Deng in the past Muscat is confident that in time Kamsoba will handle the rigours of the professional game.
“Fact is it’s his first game at that level, so we’ll wait and see how he pulls along with everyone else and pick the best possible team available to perform at a level to take three points tomorrow.
“We’ve done it [managed the transition from NPL to A-League] in the past… and he’s a little bit different because he’s spent a good couple of months with us before being able to play.
“And he’s showed with his physical capacity that he’s got the level required. There’s just other things we want to add to his game to make him even more dangerous.”
Melbourne Victory hosts Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Saturday 12 January. Kick-off is at 7:50pm