Victory skipper goes on the attack
New Melbourne Victory captain Ola Toivonen declared his team fit and ready to challenge for A-League honours.
The Swedish striker will lead a new-look attack that threatens to be the A-League's most potent, having offset the loss of Kiwi Kosta Barbarouses (Sydney FC) who combined with Toivonen for 30 goals (15 apiece).
But Socceroos pair Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse have returned to the club, to join Toivonen and improving Elvis Kamsoba, with Victory set to unveil a new front three.
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"I think so (we have a good balance). It feels like a good mix," Toivonen said.
"Andrew's looking good, looking very good. Strong, explosive, good speed.
"Robbie struggled a bit - injured a bit during pre-season. But we're all supporting him in a good way and we hope to see him back on the pitch (soon).
"We have Elvis as well. He was flying last season and is flying in pre-season as well.
"(Fans) can expect a lot from myself, from my teammates, from the team. We didn't win anything last (season) and that was a disappointment - the club wasn't happy, the players weren't happy. So we expect a lot."
Toivonen was a late omission from last season's opening round derby, but has not skipped a beat in pre-season.
In fact his attitude and scintillating form prompted new coach Marco Kurz to hand him the captaincy, replacing retired Carl Valeri.
"It's a big honour to be named captain for the biggest club in Australia," he said.
"Everyone is looking forward to it (the derby). Me, the players, the club, the members and supporters.
"It's been a long off season. Lots of games against NPL teams and some A-League teams so it feels like we're ready."