Robbie not after revenge

Striker Robbie Kruse says Saturday night's Grand Final re-match between Melbourne and Sydney at the SFS is not about revenge, but about Melbourne putting its stamp on the new season.

Striker Robbie Kruse says Saturday night's Grand Final re-match between Melbourne and Sydney at the SFS is not about revenge, but about Melbourne putting its stamp on the new season.

Kruse played all 120 minutes as Melbourne lost the title in a heart-breaking penalty shootout in the Grand Final at Etihad Stadium in March. It may have been one of the toughest moments of his short career, but Kruse's focus is clearly on the future and not on the past and he wants a win against the Sky Blues in Round 1.

"We are not looking at it as revenge or anything. We were bitterly disappointed with the Grand Final loss but we are just focussing on getting off to the best possible start we can and that's definitely not losing," he said.

"The Victory way is always to go for the win and play attacking football. We won-t change from that. Hopefully we can get a win and start the season off with a bang."

A longer season has some teams feeling they can take their time to get into the season, but Kruse said there is a sense of urgency around the club to make a strong start to the campaign.

"I think the first four or five games are very critical. It-s a long season and you want to start very well. A win would be a confidence booster for the young players in the team," he said.

With Archie Thompson out through injury until at least December, a lot of attention has turned to Kruse who will be expected to start hitting the back of the net more regularly.

Kruse felt that last season was an enormous period of growth for him as a player as he went from a fringe player at Brisbane to one of the more important members of one of the best side's in the competition.

Having grown from a boy to a man as a footballer in that period, he believes he can build on that, starting with the game against Sydney.

"I'm feeling really fit and healthy, I've put on a bit of weight too. My skin folds are down. Hopefully I can not get bullied off the ball and score a few goals and get to double figures," he said.

Melbourne has named its initial squad for Saturday's match with only Thompson and fellow knee victim Matthew Kemp unavailable at this stage. Of the 18 players named, only goalkeepers Michael Petkovic and Sebastian Mattei have not played for the club before.