Pondeljak pens new deal

Melbourne Victory's 2009 Grand Final hero Tom Pondeljak has re-signed with the club until the end of the 2010/11 season.

Melbourne Victory's 2009 Grand Final hero Tom Pondeljak has re-signed with the club until the end of the 2010/11 season.

But despite the fact he will have turned 35 by the time his latest contract will expire, the four-time grand final winner has not ruled out playing beyond next season.

Pondeljak, who is currently sidelined with a calf injury, has not played since scoring in Melbourne's 3-1 win over Newcastle on October 18 but Victory fans can expect to see the popular attacking midfielder strut his stuff for at least another season following the announcement of his contract extension on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old, who also won three championship medals in the old National Soccer League as well scoring the only goal in Victory's 1-0 grand final win over Adelaide last season, says he is happy to take his contract situation year by year these days but has not yet put an end date on his decorated career.

"Like I have said all along as long as 'Musky' (Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat) is still running around, I am quite happy to follow him around," Pondeljak said on Tuesday, following the announcement of his contract extension.

Muscat, who turned 36 in August, is nearly two-and-a-half years older than Pondeljak, who will turn 34 in January.

Pondeljak said despite his recent calf injury his body is holding up well and he is confident of returning to the line-up for either this week's game against Gold Coast or the following week's trip to Wellington.

"I had my first (training) session with the boys today and it felt really good," he said.

"It's been about five weeks now so I am looking to get back on track and put my hand up for selection either this week or more so next week."

Pondeljak, who joined Melbourne prior to the club's first Asian Champions League campaign in early 2008, has loved his time at the Victory and is determined to keep repaying the faith the club has shown in him for the rest of this season and next season.

And he will always have a special place in the heart of the club's fans, following his heroics in last season's grand final win.

"It's always good to score in any game let alone a grand final," he said.

Melbourne Victory football operations manager Gary Cole said Pondeljak will continue playing an important role for the club not only on the field but also off it as he helps mentor the club's list of promising young players.

"Tommy has obviously been a great servant for Melbourne Victory," Cole said.

"He came in for our ACL campaign in 2008 and played a significant part in winning the treble last year and as we can all remember he scored a fantastic goal to help us win the grand final."

Cole said Pondeljak still had plenty to offer the club in the twilight of his career.

"He has still got great pace and he has got the lowest skinfolds in this (playing) group," he said.

"And we have got seven players aged under 21 at the moment so players of Tommy's experience don't grow on trees."