Big V's leader fit and firing for season opener

Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri will begin the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 campaign at peak fitness after illness and injury curtailed his contribution last season.

After a promising start to his second season at Victory, Valeri missed 17 matches after being diagnosed with an inflammatory condition affecting part of his brain.

He returned in Round 26 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season, but his game time was limited as he worked his way back to full fitness.

With a full pre-season under his belt, and no recurrence of the issues he dealt with last season, Valeri will lead Victory out against Brisbane Roar in the opening game of the new season on Friday night, full of confidence.

Melbourne Victory stars Jai Ingham, Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri and James Troisi.

"It's all behind me and I'm feeling great. I'm just happy to be back," he said.

"Thank goodness we have the best doctors and medical facilities in Australia.

"It's important obviously for me personally to feel good, but the fact that I can contribute to the team and the team is going well, that's fantastic.

"With the great support I've had from my family and the club, my batteries are fully recharged and I'm ready to go against Brisbane on Friday night."

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