Melbourne Victory’s Hyundai A-League season opener away to Brisbane Roar is bringing back painful memories for Leigh Broxham after last season’s elimination at Suncorp Stadium.
In April, Victory looked set to qualify for the semi final with four minutes remaining at Suncorp Stadium after Besart Berisha gave the visitors the lead.
But a quick equaliser from Matt McKay and Thomas Broich’s stoppage-time header saw Roar advance instead.
While Broxham had his tongue firmly in his cheek when he declared Friday’s clash is “all about revenge”, the 28-year-old did concede that elimination final remained clear in his memory.
“I suppose as the game gets closer it becomes a bit more fresh again,” he told reporters on Monday.
“It took a little while to get over at the end of last year. We had to move on quickly because we still had games [in the AFC Champions League] but when everything was done and dusted it still hurt a lot.
“I think you’ll go back there and it’ll jog your memory a bit. Not that you need any more motivation but it’s there.”
Coincidently, the opening game of the 2016-17 campaign will see Victory play Roar for the third consecutive league game after Broxham and Co. denied Brisbane the Premier’s Plate last season with a 0-0 draw in the final round.
But with so many new faces at both clubs, that history will only be applicable to a section of the players involved on Friday.
Victory have seen six senior players arrive at the club and Broxham has been impressed by how Kevin Muscat’s squad has developed throughout pre-season where the Big V didn’t lose a game, including against European giants Juventus and Atletico Madrid.
“The squad’s slowly come together really well. It was a few signings at the start [of pre-season] and week after week we’ve been adding to the squad and it’s just getting stronger and stronger,” Broxham said.
Victory will head to Brisbane on Thursday having lost their past two games at Suncorp Stadium, although they had won three consecutive matches prior to that.