Around the grounds: Thomas departs Victory for Europe, the key to Burgess’ goal-scoring form

Denmark appears the likely destination for Lawrence Thomas after Melbourne Victory confirmed over the weekend the goalkeeper had left the club.

Thomas departed Victory after nine years with club, winning two Championships including a man-of-the-match display in the 2018 Grand Final win over Newcastle Jets.

The 28-year-old made more than 150 appearances for the Navy Blues but was keen for a new challenge, agreeing to terms with a European club, reportedly in the Danish Superliga.

“For me the move to Europe presents a great opportunity for my career, I’m excited but there’s also a touch of sadness,” Thomas said on Victory’s official website.

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“I’ve been at the club for nine years and it will always hold a special place in my heart. 

“Keep supporting each other, back the boys in and continue to stand alongside the club.”

Victory are next in action in the Hyundai A-League on Wednesday night, when they take on Brisbane Roar at Bankwest Stadium. Kick-off is 7.30pm AEST.

Burgess firing to the max for United

Western United FC boss Mark Rudan has revealed the secret behind the sensational run of form of his playmaker Max Burgess.

After taking 45 games to score his first goal in the Hyundai A-League, Burgess hasn’t stopped since, netting five times in his last three outings, including Saturday’s 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory.

And Rudan, who has been a big part of Burgess’ development over the last couple of seasons, says there are two factors in the 25-year-old’s rapid rise.

“One is self-belief and the other is decision making,” Rudan said.

“We know he’s got the skill sets. He’s a quality footballer.

“Now he understands his positioning dependent on where the ball is, the timing of his runs, his cues, when to come in, when to come out, when to drive with the ball.

“I think his decision making has improved; he’s now getting the goals that we knew that he could always score. Max has been a big part of our team.”

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Izzo praises Reds’ defensive focus

Goalkeeper Paul Izzo Adelaide United’s improved defensive structure is a big positive and can help the club secure finals football.

The Reds conceded 15 goals in the four games before the break due to COVID-19 but have conceded just one goal in two matches since the relaunch.

Despite still having work to do between the sticks, Izzo admitted defensively the Reds are a lot more organised and resolute than earlier in the campaign.

“Tactically there probably has been a massive change, obviously for the better from what we’ve seen in the past week or two,” he explained.

“I think it just comes down to defenders actually defending the goal and they’re not getting dragged out to parts of the pitch where they’re not really supposed to be.

“Our main centre-backs are protecting the goal now more often and they’re in better positions to help me and the rest of the team out.”

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