Victory's big guns to play in friendly against Red Devils

THREE of Melbourne Victory’s biggest off-season signings have been confirmed for an upcoming friendly against Ballarat Red Devils.

A-League stars Matthieu Delpierre, Besart Berisha and Carl Valeri will grace Morshead Park in a practice match on August 26.

It will be the second friendly the Red Devils have hosted this A-League pre-season, after Victory’s crosstown rival Melbourne City made the trip to Ballarat’s home of soccer for a practice match on June 25.

Joining the trio will be Victory captain Mark Milligan.

Red Devils player manager and former Victory player James Robinson is excited to give his current charges more experience against the best talent Australian soccer has to offer.

“What a great opportunity for the players to get more insight into playing against another high quality team in Melbourne Victory,” Robinson said on the Ballarat Red Devils Facebook page.

“The fans and the local community get to see the likes of Delpierre, Berisha, Valeri and Milligan on our doorstep.

“It will be good to catch up with Kevin (Muscat) and the club in their 10th anniversary – the club and fans will always hold a special place for me personally.”

Victory coach Kevin Muscat is expecting a tough hit out against the McDonald’s Reds.

“Our three new signings in Besart Berisha, Matthieu Delpierre and Carl Valeri, have already begun training with us and will play a part in these upcoming friendlies against some very competitive NPL sides,” Muscat said, also on the Red Devils Facebook page.

“We’re definitely looking forward to making the trip north to take on James’ Ballarat side.”

“We know it will certainly be a good test for our boys on pitch as well.”

Victory’s other pre-season games will be against other NPLV clubs Bentleigh Greens and Port Melbourne as well as Richmond FC.

A match against Hume City is also scheduled, but waiting on FFV approval.

Victory will play Bayswater City in an FFA Cup round of 32 match the week prior to the Red Devils friendly.

The match against Ballarat will take place under lights at 7pm.

michael.pollock@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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