Melbourne Victory’s newest signing, Ryan Shotton, has touched down at AAMI Park and set a number of targets ahead of his return to match fitness.
The former Premier League defender has taken part in his first few days of training as an A-League player and credited Head Coach Grant Brebner for making his decision to come to Australia easier.
“Brebner sold it to me. An opportunity came up and I spoke to him over the phone. He [Brebner] said, 'we’re building a team that is looking to go and compete at the top',” said Shotton.
“As a professional sportsman that is ultimately what you want to do – compete and win trophies.”
Shotton, who made his name at Stoke City in England’s top flight, is eager to make his A-League debut and is optimistic about Victory’s chances this season.
“At the minute I am at a low level of fitness so I am looking forward to getting some games under my belt,” he said.
“The season is still early so we will push on and make sure we are competing at the top end.”
At 32-years-old, Shotton believes he will add a range of defensive skills to the Victory squad having played for Middlesbrough and Birmingham City among others.
“I will bring leadership at the back and a bit of experience that Grant [Brebner] says we may need,” he said.
“I talk my way through a lot of games, so the fans will hear me shouting at other players. Not that I don’t like them – I just want them in certain positions and doing a job that will help the team.”
After completing a period in quarantine, Shotton’s next challenge is to return to the high standards he sets for himself.
“I just want to stay fit and play as many games as I can at a high standard. I hope we win as many as we can,” said the Englishman.
As well as being a vocal member of the Victory squad, Shotton intends to be an intimidating presence in defence.
“I like to bully teams and make sure that they know they’re in a game, which means bringing an English mentality that’s a bit nasty now and then to the opposition.”