Theodore gets his chance

Mathew Theodore will make his Hyundai A-League debut for Melbourne Victory in Friday night's clash against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium but the 19-year-old is far from daunted at the prospect of playing his first game against the Asian Champions' League finalists.

Mathew Theodore will make his Hyundai A-League debut for Melbourne Victory in Friday night's clash against Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium but the 19-year-old is far from daunted at the prospect of playing his first game against the Asian Champions' League finalists.

Although there is one aspect of making his debut that has got the attacking midfielder very concerned - having to sing a song in front of his teammates before the game!

The ritual is performed by every player prior to his first game for Melbourne and Victory coach Ernie Merrick joked on Thursday that Theodore was more worried about that than taking on the might of the A-League leaders on their home turf.

Theodore, who has impressed this season in the Victory's youth team, comes into the 15 man squad in place of the injured Carlos Hernandez in the only change to the squad which last week went down 2-0 to Sydney at Telstra Dome.

"He is a very good young talent, he came through the Victorian Institute of Sport when I was there (as coach) and then he went on to the Australian Institute of Sport," Merrick said of Theodore on Thursday.

"He is a very competitive young man and he has fitted in very well with our side."

"And while he will start on the bench on Friday night there is a good chance he will get a run because he sets up goals and he creates opportunities."

Theodore, who began his career playing in Melbourne's northern suburbs, admitted his nerves about performing his pre-game song but is comfortable with stepping out for his senior debut on Friday night.

"All the boys have to sing a song when they are new to the club and I have chosen 'Stand by Me' by Ben E King," Theodore told www.melbournevictory.com.au on Thursday.

"I was hoping they would forget about it (making the newcomer sing a song) but obviously not."

"I actually haven't thought too much about the game, I have been more worried about the song."

But on a serious note Theodore is itching to make his debut and believes he can offer the injury and suspension hit Melbourne - which is missing attacking players Archie Thompson, Ney Fabiano, Nathan Elasi and Hernandez for the trip to Adelaide - something different on Friday night.

"I was close to playing against Perth and Sydney in our last two home games and now with a few injuries I have an opportunity," he said.

"I like to get forward and create goals and score goals and playing in the youth league has helped me because it keeps you match fit and you need to be match fit to be able to play in the A-League."