Milligan on cusp of best-ever season

Melbourne Victory skipper Mark Milligan says a Grand Final win against Sydney FC on Sunday would make this his greatest season yet.

Alongside his coach Kevin Muscat, Milligan fronted the media at Saturday’s official pre-Grand Final press conference

After winning the Asian Cup with the Socceroos and the Premiers’ Plate with Victory, the 29-year-old conceded holding up the trophy at AAMI Park on Sunday would make it a season to savour above all others.

“Yes, I’d probably have to say yes,” he said when asked.

“I’ve been fortunate to play in some big occasions but the first five months of this season have been very exciting.”

Milligan added this version of Victory was ready to win the showpiece after missing out in recent seasons on the final day of the season.

“The last few years we’ve really been building towards this,” he said.

“We brought in a lot of young boys a couple of years ago and they have a lot of game experience under their belt [now], through the Champions League and A-League. They’ve come of age this year.”

Milligan’s coach Kevin Muscat added he was “ecstatic” the decider was at AAMI Park.

“It’ll be an unbelievable atmosphere. The 30,000 there will be treated to one unbelievable atmosphere. Unprecedented in Australian sport so we’re really looking forward to it.”

If the season decider went to a shootout, Muscat backed his keeper Lawrence Thomas, who’s been thrown into the deep end in recent weeks with the injury to number one Nathan Coe.

“Last week he [Thomas] was superb [in the Semi Final win over City]. As a goalkeeper you have to wait for you opportunity and that’s what he’s done."

Quizzed on whether he’d stick his hand up to take a penalty if the decider went to a shootout, Milligan said he’d have no hesitation.

“I’ll decide who takes the penalties!” interjected a smiling Muscat, in a rare moment of banter from the Victory coach.

“We’re at the time now where enough talking has been said," added Muscat. "Let’s get on the with the action."