Victory return to horror house
Photo Source: AAP
If you push Leigh Broxham hard enough, you discover what Melbourne Victory's round one A-League date with Brisbane Roar is all about.
"It's about revenge," he says.
The veteran Victory utility is only half serious.
Victory's A-League campaign ended at Suncorp Stadium last term after holding a 1-0 lead after 88 minutes in their elimination final.
Late goals to Matt McKay and Thomas Broich put the Roar into a semi-final with Western Sydney Wanderers as Victory crashed out.
In isolation, it was a crushing way to end their championship defence.
But with a broader view, there's an acceptance among Kevin Muscat's side that they weren't able to perform at their best for long enough to repeat their title-winning feats.
Broxham said new faces in the dressing room helped Victory to move on but the round one fixture did bring up bad memories for several players.
"As the game gets closer it becomes a bit more fresh. It took a while to get over," he said.
"We had to move on quickly because we still had (Asian Champions League) games. When everything was done and dusted it still hurt a lot.
"Not that you need any more motivation but it is there."
There will be at least three new faces in the team to face the Roar from the side that lost 2-1, following the departure of Kosta Barbarouses, Gui Finkler and Matthieu Delpierre.
Returning attacker James Troisi is likely to jump straight in for Finkler at No.10, with Alan Baro, James Donachie and Nick Ansell all possible centre-backs.
Winger Marco Rojas, also back at the club where he made his name, will need to wait a week to jump back into the team after his New Zealand call-up - handing Mitch Austin a rails run to selection.
But if there's one player who doesn't know where he'll be it's Broxham.
The 28-year-old spent most of last season in midfield, started at centre-back in that elimination final and played left-back in Victory's last-out FFA Cup win over Bentleigh Greens.
In a decade at the club he's just about played in every position but said he was happy to keep filling the holes as Muscat saw fit.
"The boss asked me to do it so I'm happy to do it," he said.
"It is hard on a personal level to get consistency but it's enabled me to play so many games in my career so far so I'm not going to start complaining about it now."