Against France in that game, four current Hyundai A-League senior head coaches were on the park for Australia. Name them?

A: Tony Popovic (WSW) Kevin Muscat (Victory) Paul Okon (CCM) and John Aloisi (Roar).


Source :  Football Federation Australia


Melbourne Victory’s ‘gut-wrenching’ loss: Kevin Muscat

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat described his side's dramatic loss in Sunday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final as "gut-wrenching".

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Chris Myson
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat described his side’s dramatic loss in Sunday’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final as “gut-wrenching” and insists it was undeserved.

Victory came into the final as massive underdogs after hosts Sydney FC had dominated the regular season, finishing 17 points clear.

But Muscat’s men seized the lead through Besart Berisha and ultimately took the match all the way to penalties, where they lost 4-2 after 120 minutes of action had finished in a 1-1 draw.

And the Victory boss felt his players had done enough to earn a shock victory, with James Troisi having hit the post in extra time.

Besart Berisha celebrates after opening the scoring for Victory in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.“I can cope most things, but to walk in there now and see the looks on their faces with the amount of effort they played with, to come in and outplay Sydney for long periods of the game, we were spot on with what we did,” Muscat told Fox Sports.

“The execution of what we asked the players to do was spot on and sometimes you have got to try and explain to them how they lost the match and this is one of those occasions because that group of boys didn’t deserve to lose.
He continued: “I can take it, but I’m just bitterly disappointed for the players. That is the gut-wrenching thing for me, looking the players in the eye and somehow explaining to them how they have lost.

“It was an unbelievable effort from our team. They worked so hard coming into a cauldron like this, where no one gave us a sniff or a chance of winning and we were only an inch away in the end to winning.

“Some pieces of luck just didn’t go our way and it could have been so different, but that’s life, that’s football. It’s hard to find the words. They didn’t deserve to lose that.”


Source : Football Federation Australia

Graham Arnold and Kevin Muscat final words before battle?

what will Graham Arnold and Kevin Muscat say in those last moments on Sunday before the Hyundai A-League Grand Final?
It all leads up to this. All the hard work’s been done, all the preparation finalised. Blotting out the white noise of the build-up, the final words of each coach will be pivotal.

But what will Graham Arnold and Kevin Muscat say in those last moments on Sunday before the Hyundai A-League Grand Final 2017?
Just before the two teams power up their final bro handshakes, walk out the dressing room door, down the tunnel and onto the pitch, we predict the tone and substance of each coach’s final address.

GRAHAM ARNOLD’S FINAL WORDS writer Jason Pine puts himself into Arnie’s mind to predict his final words before the Sky Blues walk out onto Allianz this Sunday.

“Alright boys, here we are.

Round 29.

Everything we’ve done in the last 40 weeks has brought us to here.

Everything we’ve worked for, every day we’ve trained, every mile we’ve travelled.

Sydney FC players celebrate after Josh Brillante's opening goal in their big semi final win over Perth Glory.

It’s got us to the verge of something special.

So I don’t want you to change anything today.

Don’t change a thing.

Everything we have done up till now has worked.

I want you to trust in those things one more time.
Believe in those things and in each other … and we will win this game.

Let’s start well … make the first pass stick … win your personal battles nice and early.

Now get out there and show those fans what a champion team looks like.”

Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri and Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque alongside the Hyundai A-League Championship trophy.

KEVIN MUSCAT’S FINAL WORDS managing editor Aidan Ormond gets inside Musky’s head to predict his final words in the huddle before the Big V head out to battle at Allianz on Sunday.

[Looks around at the huddle, pauses then says…]

“Boys, what is this football club built on?

The answer to that is success.

It’s in our DNA. It’s our culture.

That’s why we’ve won three grand finals.

And that’s why we’ll win our fourth today.

And as look at you now, I only see winners.

Berisha’s focus on Victory, not Sydney FC

Look at Bes… he’s a winner.

Look at Carlo, he’s a winner.

Look around you.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat.

Big personalities. Winners.

If you’re tired late in the game, if you can’t track back, or press, just remember how you’d feel if they won. Just remember that.

But that’s not going to happen.


Because our pride is stronger than their arrogance.

They think they’ve won it already.

And the pressure’s on them, not us

So, enjoy it.

James Troisi played a starring role in Melbourne Victory's 2-1 win over Adelaide United.

Make history.

For yourself, your families and this football club.

Be aggressive in everything you do, but control your aggression.

And win your personal battles.

You know the game plan.

And because you’ll stick to the game plan… [pauses for effect]… We. Will. Win.

Because we’re Melbourne Victory. It. Is. Who. We. Are…”

Sydney FC will play Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Grand Final.

Source : Football Federation Australia

Finals ‘adrenaline’ gives Melbourne Victory a lift: Kevin Muscat

Kevin Muscat says his Melbourne Victory team is full of desire heading into Sunday's semi final.

Aidan Ormond @AidotheFFAEd
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat says watching on as Elimination Finals played out last week has boosted his team’s desire ahead of their own post-season bow today against Brisbane in the semi final.

Victory finished second in the league, which allowed them a week off along with Premier’s Plate winners Sydney FC as they both watched with interest seeing Roar and Glory win through to week two of the finals.

Watching on, says Muscat, has given his rested squad renewed drive as they seek to qualify for a fourth grand final.

And despite not playing a game last weekend, Muscat was at pains to remind reporters that there’s been plenty of work both physical and mental after Victory’s last competitive game 16 days ago, in their Round 27 clash with the Mariners.

“We had a good opportunity to freshen the players up mentally. It was a bit of an indifferent end to the season, one that we’ve not really experienced before,” he told reporters on Saturday.

“So it was nice to have that weekend to freshen up then use that week to really zoom in on the players between the ears, then naturally you see the first finals and you just sense the adrenaline bubbling away.

“And training that week was superb. And this week we’ve had a really good week honing in on the tactical side of the game.”

Muscat added that after scoring 50 goals this season – including having the joint Golden Boot winner in Besart Berisha – the Big V was confident they can re-find their attacking fluency.

“Just look at our front third. That’ll give anyone confidence going into a game.”

Muscat added there were no fitness concerns with his squad and refused to buy into talk about Roar’s priorities this week as John Aloisi’s men juggled the ACL in Thailand with the A-League.

“Physically we’re in great shape and this week was about knuckling down and making sure we’re right structurally and tactically,” Muscat said.

And he’s expecting another boisterous Victorian crowd to spur on the Big V to a grand final spot.

“Nearly all those occasions [in the finals over the years] have ended with a good story [for Victory], so we’re looking forward to that again.”

In Victory selection news, Daniel Georgievski returns from suspension any young striker George Howard has been promoted.

All the important ticketing information you need to know ahead of the Hyundai A-League Semi Finals.

Source : Football Federation Australia

Kevin Muscat vows Melbourne Victory will ‘put on a show’

Kevin Muscat gives instructions to his players during a Melbourne Victory training session.

Victory’s championship-winning coach Kevin Muscat has put Brisbane Roar on notice, declaring his side are refocused and ready for the Hyundai A-League Semi Final against the Queenslanders on Sunday.


Despite just one win in their last four league matches, Muscat remained supremely optimistic ahead of Sunday’s blockbuster semi-final.


“Without confusing arrogance with confidence, we are confident,” Muscat told AAP’s Ben McKay (@benmackey) ahead of the mouth-watering clash at AAMI Park.

“Of course we are.


Melbourne Victory's dynamic attacking duo Besart Berisha and Marco Rojas.“History will tell us our members and fans will create an unrivalled atmosphere and we’ll put on a show for them,” he promised.


Victory lost eight games in the 2016/17 Hyundai A-League season.

Of the top six, only cross-town rivals Melbourne City were defeated more often.

“Taking everything into consideration I think we’ve performed really well,” said Muscat.

“The international break didn’t really help us. The split round didn’t really help us.

Victory boss Kevin Muscat wasn't happy with his side's performance in the clash with Wellington Phoenix at AAMI Park on Sunday.

“Going across to Wellington in that run didn’t help us. They’re all facts. They’re not excuses,” he said.


But Victory are ready to move on from those hiccups and hit the Finals Series in full flow.

“We didn’t deal with those situations as well as we would have liked,” said Muscat.

“When we haven’t had those interruptions we have been good.

James Troisi played a starring role in Melbourne Victory's 2-1 win over Adelaide United.

“The points return has been excellent.

“We’ll get back to those levels on Sunday,” he warned.

The winner on Sunday will know who they’ll play in the grand final on May 7, with semi final 1 played 24 hours earlier between Sydney FC and Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.

All the important ticketing information you need to know ahead of the Hyundai A-League Semi Finals.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Kevin Muscat: James Troisi close to Caltex Socceroo return

James Troisi during Melbourne Victory's win over the Mariners on Sunday.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Staff writer

Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat believes James Troisi’s best form is still to come as the playmaker edges closer to a Caltex Socceroos re-call next month.

Troisi’s superb form for Victory this season not only has the club chasing down Sydney FC for top spot in the Hyundai A-League but also on the verge of a call-up to Ange Postecoglou’s squad for the upcoming qualifiers against Iraq and UAE.

With attacking midfielder Tom Rogic unavailable through injury, the 28-year-old is seen by many as the ideal replacement for the crucial games away in neutral Tehran (March 23) and then back in Sydney five days later.

And it’s hard to argue given Troisi’s impact for Victory since his return from a collarbone injury early in the season.

The former Juventus man has scored five goals – including a cracker against the Mariners on Sunday – and provided six assists for the second-placed Victory.

“I still believe the best of James is yet to come. He’s been superb,” Muscat told the Herald Sun.


James Troisi“If he gets selected and is unavailable for Brisbane [March 25], I’ll be really happy for him.”

Troisi, the man who scored the winning goal in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup final, hasn’t featured for Australia since November 2015.

Caltex Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou added: “It’s good to see Jimmy doing well and particularly recent weeks he’s getting back to the levels we know he can.

“If he continues the form, then he’ll definitely be in contention, if not for March, certainly moving forward.”

Troisi gets another chance to press his claims for selection when Victory hosts Adelaide United on Saturday night.

Source : Football Federation Australia

Kevin Muscat happy with new system despite FFA Cup loss

Kevin Muscat watches on during his side's 2-0 loss to Melbourne City.

Kevin Muscat watches on during his side’s 2-0 loss to Melbourne City.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat was pleased with how his team adapted to “major differences” in their set-up despite losing to Melbourne City in the Westfield FFA Cup semi final on Tuesday night.

While Victory ended up losing their second derby in 10 days – going down 2-0 at AAMI Park – they had plenty of joy against City with Muscat having switched from his regular 4-2-3-1 formation to a 4-3-3 line-up.

With Carl Valeri, Leigh Broxham and Rashid Mahazi screening Victory’s defence, Muscat’s side had a strong foundation to launch counterattacks from.

Besart Berisha held the ball up well, while Marco Rojas and full-back Jason Geria provided plenty of pace on the break.

“It was major differences tonight and there’s been slight differences in other games that probably go unnoticed but based on the opposition we were playing, we picked a team accordingly and we picked a structure accordingly,” Muscat said.

“I think, for the main, we were pretty comfortable.

“We handled playing out through a very aggressive press, from Lawrence all the way to creating chances up the other end.”

Muscat indicated the 4-3-3 formation could be used again this season.

Last week, Perth Glory defeated City 3-2 while employing similar tactics.

Football Federation Australia

Melbourne Victory coach opens up ahead of Melbourne Derby

Kevin Muscat casts his eye over a Melbourne Victory training session.

Kevin Muscat casts his eye over a Melbourne Victory training session. 

Ahead of the Melbourne Derby, we sat down with Kevin Muscat and quickly realised the Victory boss is not wasting a single second in his pursuit of improvement and excellence at the Hyundai A-League powerhouse.

And you soon understand, too, the influence Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has had on this rising star of coaching in Australia.

Muscat, a former assistant coach under Postecoglou after a stellar career as Big V captain, where he won two championships as a player before one as coach – continues to evolve into a highly disciplined, process-driven manager.


The 43-year-old fully believes that if you have the right preparation and training, it will lead to stronger performances which will lead inevitably to better results.

It’s not an exact science but what you can control in an accountable manner, says Muscat, is key to success.

On the eve of arguably the biggest Melbourne Derby in history – ramped up in hype by Melbourne City’s marquee signing of Tim Cahill and a blockbuster Round 1 of the A-League – Muscat gave a peek inside his mind.

What gets you up in the morning? What is the motivation, what is the challenge for Kevin Muscat?

It’s pretty simple, and a good question.

Not a day goes by when I’m not trying to think of things to implement and to make people better at the football club.

And I say people because ultimately we refer to them as players but they are people. We place a very high importance on what type of people we bring into the football club.

The end goal is trophies but day-to-day it’s about how can we make the team better and how as a coaching group we can make the team better, then we narrow that down to individuals.

That’s what gets me up in the morning and what excites me. I don’t waste an opportunity and don’t waste a session to influence somebody to become better.

Everyone wants results but if you’re not concentrating on your performance you might not get the results.

If you concentrate on your performance more often than not, the result will look after itself.

How do you sell that message?

You must be accountable and what I try and do is to create an environment where you remove sensitivity.

Because we are people and everybody is sensitive to a degree, so try and remove that as much as possible so then you are actually making people accountable and they are not sensitive to it and they can get back out there, whether it’s two minutes later or next week or whenever and take that message on board and they can improve as a result.

What is your overall philosophy?

Ultimately your principles and philosophies must remain true. Every coach must have a vision and a philosophy.

I don’t want to spell it out for you in 5000 words because ultimately you should be able to tell me what our philosophy is, because you’re the one watching it.

I could paint this beautiful picture and you could turn up and say it doesn’t look like that at all.

What do you think?

I reckon you’re a team that goes out to win rather than avoid losing, a team that seeks to dominate, press high and impose themselves on opposition, which generally leads to entertaining football…

Yes, so I’m not going to sit here and say we going to do “A” “B” and “C”, but you have a fair idea of what the philosophy is and I think we’ve remained true to that.

Training for games. Where do you stand on that?

To be successful you have to work hard. It goes without saying.

The challenge is to replicate what you doing in training to what it is in the game.

And certain positions on the park do have different actions, so you also need to be position specific. You need to you need to replicate that as close as possible without compromising the whole training session.

If you don’t train the way you want to play then it’s no coincidence players can’t do it.

The view from Sydney is your club is an A-League flagship in Victoria…

And we’re pretty proud of that.

It isn’t something that just happens there’s a lot of hard work that goes into this club and the one contributing factor to that is stability.

And that’s why when there was 12-18 months of instability it was all about all “the wheels are coming off” but the first Chairman lay down the foundations and the current chairman has taken the business to another level. So we’re pretty proud of our club.

I’ve been here from day one and I’m very, very proud because I walk through the club’s offices and I see people who genuinely care about the football club, what they are doing and how they approach their jobs.

Culture gets bandied about a lot in sport…

People can talk for an hour about your culture but if I want to know your culture at your club, I’ll spend an hour at the club and that’ll tell me more,  because I’ll see it with my own eyes.

What is your future as a coach?

No doubt we all dream big.

And everyone should dream big but the reality is I don’t look too far forward.

You may say you can afford 10% your time to think about these things, and look at progression in four years and five years time, but I’m the opposite of that.

I could use that time to put it into preparing for the weekend’s game.

That’s as far as I look. All my energy goes into the here and now because those types of things [the future] will look after themselves.

It’s exactly like when I was playing. I just worried about playing well and the rest will look after itself.

No doubt I’m an ambitious person. But at this point in time for me to fulfil dreams, I’ve got to get this right.

How do you look back on your ACL run this year?

We had a long season, but I’m complaining that we’re not going to have another long season without ACL football in 2017.

If you’ve had a long season it means you’ve been successful.

I might come across as a certain type of character and a certain type of person but I don’t think too many people understand me as much as they claim to.

I want to be in the Champions League. I’m all about that.

Last year I made some statements about the ACL which were facts, they weren’t complaints.

The last thing I’ll ever do is make complaints or excuses. It’s not in my nature it wastes time and you could be working on something that affects your season.

Can you switch off from football?

It’s impossible to not think about football but there are times when you have to. With my two children and my partner, they are the biggest sufferers, not me.

[During the off-season] what I did was organise a trip and coincidentally part of that time was in France to watch the Euros.

And it was a busy time of the year for Victory. Twelve players left the club and we were bringing players in. We’re not at the point where we’ve got unlimited staff like European clubs where you can turn your phone off for two weeks.

It’s difficult. What is the definition of “off”? There is no off.


Football Federation Australia

FFA Cup reaction: Melbourne Victory coach’s tribute to Bentleigh Greens

Victory star James Troisi on the ball against Bentleigh Greens.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Michael Huguenin
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat paid tribute to the way Bentleigh Greens kept his side at bay for much of Tuesday night’s Westfield FFA Cup tie.

Victory had to wait until the final half-hour at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex to clinch a 2-0 win over the Greens, with the home side producing a disciplined defensive effort for the majority of the opening 60 minutes.

While Muscat insisted Victory were never truly threatened, he applauded Bentleigh’s stubborn approach.


“They did well. They stifled any intensity out of the game by being so disciplined and structured and dropping off,” he said after the match.


“So it was a matter of being patient and it was hard to create that intensity.”

Marco Rojas and James Troisi scored Victory’s goals in the space of five second half minutes as the reigning FFA Cup winners progressed to the semi-finals.

Victory will face local A-League rivals Melbourne City in the last four.

“I’m probably not as excited as everyone else. Just getting over tonight,” Muscat said when asked about the semi-final draw.

“There’s a couple of games at least before that game, so our attention now turns to Brisbane Roar.”

But Muscat does hope Football Federation Australia decides to hold the Victory-City semi-final after the Canberra Olympic versus Sydney FC fixture.

The first FFA Cup semi-final is due on October 18, just three days after the first Melbourne derby of the A-League season.

“It’d be nice to have some space between the derbies for everyone, to build it up to what it should be – a massive night for Victoria,” Muscat said.


Football Federation Australia


Kevin Muscat despondent after edging Hume in FFA Cup

Victory defender Alan Baro fights for the ball with Hume's Tom Cahill.

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat claimed he was “grateful” to progress to the FFA Cup quarter-finals after a tight 1-0 win over Hume City on Wednesday.

Besart Berisha’s first-half penalty was enough for Victory to overcome the NPL Victoria club at ABD Stadium, but Muscat was clearly unimpressed with his team’s performance after the match.
Muscat bemoaned Victory’s inability to retain possession, with Hume having looked particularly strong in the second half without managing to score an equaliser.

“Grateful in the end because it wasn’t a good performance from ourselves and, on the night, I thought we got away with it because we didn’t keep the ball anywhere near as well as we should,” Muscat said at his press conference.

But while Hume fashioned a handful of half chances to level the contest in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, Muscat insisted the home side had never truly threatened Victory.

“I thought Hume were fantastic… but I don’t think we were under any threat of losing the game but I don’t want to win 1-0 and play like that,” he said.

“I’m far from satisfied with that performance, albeit we’re into the next round.”


James Troisi made his first appearance for Victory in over two years having returned to the A-League club at the start of the month, and Muscat lauded the attacking midfielder’s display.

“First half, I thought he was the best player on the park,” Muscat said.

“We missed a lot of opportunities to get our attacking players on the ball.

“I can’t recall any quality service to the front three and then your structure goes because you’re always fighting.”

Football Federation Australia