No rest for Victory

It's been a particularly busy start to the season for Melbourne Victory assistant coach Aaron Healey, but with the Hyundai A-League on hiatus this week, Healey has had some time to assess where Victory's players are at.

It's been a particularly busy start to the season for Melbourne Victory assistant coach Aaron Healey, but with the Hyundai A-League on hiatus this week, Healey has had some time to assess where Victory's players are at.

It's fairly obvious Melbourne's players are in good form at the moment given they have had 4-2 and 5-0 wins in the past fortnight, but Victory's coaching staff haven't had the time to fully assess where their team is at physically.

Healey said fitness and conditioning coach Adam Basil had put his players through their paces early this week and the results were particularly pleasing.

"We've had a pretty good week out on the track to be honest. We took the opportunity to do some physiological testing during the week, to see where the boys are at. We hadn't had a chance to do that, due to having six games away," he said.

"We've done that and some great results from the boys as far as speed and repeated efforts at high intensity. The top three who came through were Dan Allsopp, Evan Berger and even Kevin Muscat, the fittest he's been and the quickest he's been. It's really positive week for the boys from that point of view."

The A-League break is to accommodate a FIFA Match Day break, but having picked up so much momentum at the start of the season, it doesn't come at a great time for Melbourne. However, Healey said it's something you have to get used to.

"We all have to get used to it. We've fallen into line with the rest of the world with the FIFA dates. For us it's worked out well, because it gives another week for guys like Michael Thwaite and Nick Ward to make sure they are right for selection against Adelaide," he said.

"It also allows you to do you planning and preparation over two weeks, rather than one."

Healey said that in future FIFA Match Day breaks, the club may look to play intra-club matches with the youth league squad.

"I think the positive thing with the national youth league coming in is that we've got players in a squad to have a game against, a full-blooded game against, we've structured that into our program and hopefully, that will be an advantage to us," he said. Healey rates Thwaite and Ward a 50-50 chance to play against Adelaide on Friday week, while Jose Luis Lopez is unlikely to take his place given he arrives back from national team duty the day before the Telstra Dome clash.

Healey said the fact Melbourne has an almost full squad to pick from had caused plenty of discussion at selection meetings, but was a real positive for the club.

"It always positive when you've got a selection dilemma, when you've to too many players to pick from. All we ask as coaches is to have 22 fit players to select from 15 get the nod, and it's a good position to be in," he said.