melbournevictory.com.au is taking a look back at some of the players that have featured for the club over the past 15 years. Today, we profile Billy Celeski.
Melbourne Victory signed midfielder Billy Celeski from Perth Glory in 2008, initially to bolster its squad for its upcoming AFC Champions League campaign.
At the time, Ernie Merrick said, "we’re always on the lookout for players that are not only physically capable and technically outstanding, but players who are up and coming national team players that have represented Australia at youth and Olympic level.
“These are the type of players that we want to grow the team in the longer term and Billy fits into that profile.
“He’s technically very good and he’s tactical development through the Victorian Institute of Sport and the Australia Institute of Sport has been spot on and he fits the culture of our club.”
Celeski's performances eventually earned him a regular spot in the starting XI, and a new two-year contract.
He played an important role in Victory's 2008/09 Championship-winning side, starting 23 out of 24 games on the road to Melbourne's second Grand Final triumph.
Regular game time was a theme during Celeski's time in Melbourne; if he was was fit, he was usually starting.
He featured in 127 Hyundai A-League games across five seasons for Victory before departing for United Arab Emirates side Al-Shaab in mid-2013.
Celeski went on to play for Liaoning Whowin in China, the Newcastle Jets and J1 League side Ventrofet Kofu before hanging up the boots in 2016.