Ricardinho cleared to play
Melbourne Victory will unveil new Marquee-man Ricardinho against Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium tomorrow (Friday) night, with Evan Berger to miss through injury.
Melbourne Victory will unveil new Marquee-signing Ricardinho against Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium tomorrow (Friday) night, with Evan Berger to miss through injury.
Berger picked up a corked hamstring in last week's 1-0 win over Gold Coast and given his previous problem with soft-tissue injuries, Victory coach Ernie Merrick has opted to name the Brazilian in his place.
"If you saw his training this week, he's been outstanding. We thought we'd have to leave it another week, but after a bit of a delay, his clearance came through this afternoon” Merrick said.
“He's been outstanding. He's very fast. He's got similar control of the ball as Carlos Hernandez and his strike with his left or right foot is first class," he added.
"He'll be on the bench. He's gone beyond my expectations in training so far. As soon as the paperwork came through we decided to put him straight into the squad."
As for Berger, the A-League-s longest serving coach decided to proceed with caution so early in the season."He had a cork which he is suffering a little bit from," Merrick said. “If someone has had a run of three or four games, if there is an injury concern, we'll play it safe."
That may mean exciting youngster Diogo Ferriera starts the match, or Leigh Broxham moves into a wide position, with Billy Celeski a chance to come in only a fortnight after his knee buckled at training.
"He's definitely in the frame, Billy. His build-up has been very good, we didn't take a risk when he hyper-flexed his knee and strained it a little bit, but he's bounced back from that very well and he's training very well. He'll be in the squad," Merrick said.