Austin delighted with Man of the Match debut

Melbourne Victory new signing Mitch Austin is looking to continue the form he displayed in the International Champions Cup (ICC) against Serie A side Juventus after he picked up the Man of the Match award in his debut.

It was also the first game for the experienced Alan Baro and James Donachie since joining Victory.


Youngsters Seb Pasquali and Josh Hope also had a dream debuts, however it was Austin who stood out with the service he was providing to striker Besart Berisha.

“It’s a good way to start,” Austin said.

“I don’t normally get man of the match awards, but it’s probably the first in my professional career. Hopefully I can build and continue now.

“Everyone’s good here, so everyone who comes in will be doing a job, I thought they freshened up in the second half.

“No one looked out of place the new boys who came in and the younger players did really well too, so that was good to see.

“I always get nervous before games, but once you get there it’s like any other game, you just have to concentrate on your job and we played well tonight.

“Bes (Berisha) always tells me he’s going to be in the box, so we practice it at training. Once the season starts the partnership will be there and good for the season.”

Now the Victory will look forward to their next exhibition match against Atletico Madrid on July 31 after a first hand look of a new squad.

Much of the talk has been about increase of competition for positions particularly in central defence and midfield.

Donachie, who came from Brisbane Roar began the game against Juventus with Nick Ansell at the back. Both defenders had already played together in past appearances for the Young Socceroos.

Adding Baro’s versatility in midfield and defence, Donachie welcomed the flexibility and was happy with his debut.

“We’ve got three centre backs to choose from, I guess It’s whoever puts their hand up the most will play,” Donachie said.

“It’s always good to have competition to see who plays better, it’ll be a good season.

“The first hit out both us and Juve are at similar stages in the pre-season where we want to play and put in a good performance. It’s good to get some confidence with that performance.”