Melbourne Victory’s Lawrence Thomas and James Donachie ventured to the iconic Luna Park ahead of Saturday night’s Melbourne Derby to preview the big clash at Marvel Stadium.
The pair will return to the St. Kilda landmark with their teammates on Sunday for the Club’s family day; but before tackling the Pharaoh’s Curse and Power Surge the Victory stopper and his defensive partner’s eyes are firmly fixed on their cross-town rivals.
“They’re always great games, lots of fans bring a good atmosphere,” said Donachie.
“The boss always says a derby is different because of the intensity of the game and what it means… Every team will lift for the occasion.
“You always go in pretty even and the first 20-30 minutes are always really intense. Anything can happen.”
The defender featured from the substitute bench last Friday night in Auckland and feels confident that his fitness is building ahead of a first start since re-joining the Club – but isn’t one-hundred percent when that’ll be.
“[I felt] good. [I got] 35-40 minutes and the legs felt good. I’ve done a lot of running, but it was good to get out on the pitch and pull up so well.
“Not sure [when I’ll start], I wish I could tell you myself! We’ll have a better idea [Friday].”
Thomas then took the chance to turn interviewer.
“’Donks,’ how have you found your return from Korea, coming back to Melbourne? How’s the transition been?” Thomas asked.
“Yeah, it’s been good. A pretty quick turnaround coming back, settled in pretty fast. It’s good to be back,” Donachie said with a smile.
“Good to have you back,” Thomas replied, before fielding questions himself.
The two clubs come into the contest on the back of challenging recent fixtures and the Victory number one echoed Donachie’s sentiments to say form means little come the first whistle.
“It's not something we worry about too much,” Thomas said.
“We’re sitting high up, close to where we want to be. Those things don’t play on our minds too much.
“We’ll come out like every game: aggressive, confident and, hopefully, in front of a full stadium with a big atmosphere.
“It’s what all the players at this club come to this club for. Big moments, big games and this is another one we’re looking forward to.”
Melbourne Victory host Melbourne City at Marvel Stadium this Saturday night. Kick-off is at 7:50pm.
Join Melbourne Victory’s playing group at Luna Park this Sunday from 9am-11am for Family Day. Entry is free for 2018/19 members, gold coin donation for non-members.