Victory stalwart Leigh Broxham believes this Friday’s blockbuster semi-final against City will be the biggest Melbourne derby yet.
Victory will face their local rivals in the elimination match after City upset Wellington Phoenix 2-0 away from home.
Broxham admits he was a little bit surprised that City got past Phoenix to set up another fiery encounter with this season’s Premiers.
“But that’s what finals football’s about – if you finish in the top six you give yourself every chance,” Broxham told FourFourTwo.
“You’re one win away from a semi-final and two wins away from a grand final.”
The two Melbourne sides have played each other 15 times since 2010 with the results remarkably even - Victory claiming six wins and Heart/City five.
“It’s obviously a massive game,” Broxham said.
“We’ve never played them in a finals game before so it terms of Melbourne derbies it’s got to be the biggest one that we’ve played against them. (But) we’ll treat it like every other game.
“Obviously it will be a frantic start to the game and I’m hoping there’s a big crowd there. It will be very interesting but we’ve been preparing for this game now for two weeks so we’ll definitely be ready for it.”
Victory go into the match with a fortnight break since lifting the Premier’s Plate, and the midfielder said his team’s preparations have gone to plan.
“The boys are well aware of what’s ahead of us and what the game means,” Broxham said.
“A few of us have been in this position before. Obviously we haven’t been successful the last few times in the semi-finals so we know how much it means. In terms of preparation it’ll be pretty similar to what we normally do for a week leading into the game.”
Broxham has featured in 26 of Victory’s 27 fixtures this season, scoring two goals. The 27-year old, who has played everywhere from centre back to central midfield, defensive midfield and most recently right back, said he has been fairly pleased about his own form.
“It’s been fairly satisfying,” he said.
“From a team and personal point of view you’re relatively happy. There’s always things you want to improve on but fairly happy.
“Everyone would have their preference of position – I prefer to play in the middle of the park as I’m a midfielder by trade. But we’re at a big club and when the coach asks me to play anywhere, at right back or centre back or wherever, I’m happy to do that.
“I’m always happy to do my part for the club.”
Broxham has been a mainstay at the Victory since joining in 2006 and has made close to 200 appearances for the club. He has been part of some historic Victory squads, including the 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 double-winning outfits.
Broxham said the club’s current roster is right up there with the successful squads of the past, but while praise has been heaped on Victory’s attacking arsenal, he believes their defence hasn’t received enough credit. The Dark Blues let in just 31 goals this season, the lowest in the competition.
“It’s up there,” he said.
“We’ve improved as a team and as a back four. From the goals we’ve conceded over the last two years to the goals we’ve conceded this year, really no credit’s been given to that at all.
“I think we conceded the least goals at the end of the regular season anyway so that’s something that’s definitely improved and gone a long way to helping us be premiers. We’ve always had that attacking quality over the past few years and I think it’s really come together this year.
“I definitely have a good feeling.”comments