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A-League 2009/10 preview - Melbourne Victory

The reigning A-League champions are in good order to repeat their amazing feats of last season. Ernie Merrick has managed to keep together almost all of his stars that took all before them in 2008/09 and it would be no surprise to again see the Victory right up in the markets for this year's title.

The major loss is that of former two-time A-League Goalkeeper of the Year Michael Theoklitos who achieved his European dream by signing for English club Norwich City.

It will be odd for Victory fans to see a goal line without 'Theo' standing on it but he has been aptly replaced by New Zealand international Glen Moss and with the back-up of young shot-stopper Mitch Langerak, it seems as though the squad is well placed in that regard.

Besides Moss, Merrick has only added Thailand international defender Surat Sukha and Victory youth team captain Mathew Theodore to his playing list but managed to re-sign key players Kevin Muscat, Archie Thompson, Carlos Hernandez and Roddy Vargas.

If the Victory can continue to win games at their cauldron, the newly named Etihad Stadium, and grab points on the road, it will set them up to become the first team since the A-League's inception to take back-to-back titles.

Arrivals: Glen Moss (Wellington Phoenix), Surat Sukha (Chonburi FC, Thailand), Mathew Theodore (National Youth Team)

Departures:Steve Pantelidis (Gold Coast United), Jose Luis Lopez (Deportivo Saprissa, Costa Rica), Sebastian Ryall (Sydney FC), Michael Theoklitos (Norwich City, England), Michael Thwaite (Gold Coast United)

Biggest signing: Surat Sukha

Biggest loss: Michael Theoklitos

Key men:Archie Thompson (key striker), Carlos Hernandez (attacking playmaker), Kevin Muscat (inspirational captain), Roddy Vargas (key defender)

Team list:Goalkeepers - Glen Moss, Mitch Langerak

Defenders - Kevin Muscat, Steven Pace, Surat Sukha, Matthew Kemp, Rodrigo Vargas, Daniel Vasilevski

Midfielders - Leigh Broxham, Grant Brebner, Billy Celeski, Tom Pondeljak, Carlos Hernandez, Mathew Theodore, Evan Berger, Nick Ward

Forwards - Danny Allsopp, Archie Thompson, Ney Fabiano, Nathan Elasi

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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