Melbourne Victory full-back Storm Roux has become a permanent fixture in Kevin Muscat’s back four since signing in June 2018.
The New Zealander has 21 Hyundai A-League appearances this season and has cemented his place as a right-back.
As well as making his Victory debut in 2018, the 26-year-old became a father and spoke about an eventful 12 months on and off the pitch.
Moving to Melbourne
“Coming from Central Coast to a big city like Melbourne has been great,” said Roux. “I had my son here. He is 5-months-old now and my life has changed dramatically since moving to Melbourne, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Victory announced a two-year deal with Roux, on the same day as Corey Brown – both of whom have now established themselves as first-team players.
“I’ve become real good mates with everyone in the team,” said Roux. “I room every week with Corey and we have got a full-back relationship which has been good.”
The Victory defender made 105 A-League appearances for Central Coast Mariners before moving to Victoria. Roux recalled the 4-1 win over his former side in Round 4.
“I was there for five years and it was strange being on the opposite side,” he admitted. “Our convincing win over them kickstarted our season. We had a good result in Round 3, but that one put us on a roll.”
Victory’s 4-1 win over Central Coast was the second match in a nine-game unbeaten run. Roux featured in every game during that streak and believes that now is the time for Victory to rediscover its winning form.
“We hit a bit of a slump and it was very important for us to get that win against Brisbane,” he said referring to Victory’s 2-1 triumph in Round 22.
“If we can hit form heading into finals, it’s the most important time of the season. We’ve got a massive game coming up against Perth and we desperately want three points.”
“We’re going to keep fighting”
A minimum of ten games remain for Victory this season, four of which are AFC Champions League ties.
Roux is no stranger to the Champions League, having played in 7 games for Central Coast Mariners in the competition. The defender was even on the winning side against Sanfreece Hiroshima in 2014 – playing the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 home win.
“The toughest part of the competition is the physical side and making sure you recover properly,” stated Roux. “We’ve been doing everything we can to feel good. It has been tough, but everyone wants to play in the Champions League.”
Having lost its first two games in the Asian Champions League, Victory’s next opponent is Guangzhou Evergrande. It will need a result in China to stand a realistic chance of qualifying from Group F.
“We played well in our first two Champions League games and truly believe we dominated the Sanfreece Hiroshima tie. We’re coming up against a strong outfit, but we will go into it full of confidence.”
Future with New Zealand
Prior to his move to Melbourne, Roux had represented New Zealand on nine occasions.
Mostly due to injury, the Victory defender had no other choice but to spectate New Zealand’s World Cup play-off defeat to Peru in 2017.
“I was gutted to miss out against Peru through injury,” said Roux. “It is hard work getting to that final play-off game. We have to play on the islands; in terrible conditions against very physical teams.”
Roux believes a place in the Victory starting eleven is the best place for him to further his international career.
“It’s a good move for me, in terms of being looked at by New Zealand. But we haven’t had a game in so long that club football is my focus.”
No more play-offs
With FIFA discussing the possibility of expanding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, from 32 teams to 48 teams – Roux would like to see Oceania gain one direct entry, avoiding the inevitable play-off ties.
“I think it’s only fair,” discussed Roux. “People can say what they want about the quality of Oceania football, but if the World Cup has that many teams you can’t ignore direct entry for Oceania. It would be unfair.”
With the All Whites not in action until November 2019, Roux’s international break consists of training sessions and quality time with his family.
Victory returns to action on Saturday 30th March, against Perth Glory in Round 23.