Cellar dwellers to Champions: the frank chat that sparked Victory's rise
Leigh Broxham has revealed the moment that sparked Melbourne Victory’s improbable charge to a record fourth Hyundai A-League title.
Victory’s gritty 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets in Saturday night’s decider capped a remarkable Championship for Victory, who become the first club to win the title from outside the top-two.
Kevin Muscat’s men finished the regular season in fourth spot and came through sudden-death games against Adelaide United, Sydney FC and the Jets to secure the silverware.
"We believed we could always do it, especially after last week [against Sydney FC],” an ecstatic and relieved Broxham said on Saturday night.
“We took three, four, five days to mentally and physically get over it.
“We were calm all week and Thursday or Friday we started to really think about it and believe we could get something here."
That belief was probably in short supply early in the campaign as Victory went winless in the opening six matches and sat in eighth spot on the ladder after the first 10 rounds.
The club has an AFC Champions League campaign to content with from February, while the mid-season departures of Mark Milligan and Jason Geria put further strain on the squad.
Victory’s inconsistent form also saw Muscat come under increasing scrutiny, even from the club’s fans.
It all came to a head for Victory after the Round 20 loss at home to Brisbane Roar, where Broxham revealed the team plotted their charge to the Championship.
"After we lost at home to Brisbane [it was asked], 'what do you want to achieve this year?'
"We had a meeting - 10th of February it was. It was where we really turned the season around,” the Victory stalwart said.
“We won eight odd games from there. We always had the belief we could do it.
“It's ended up as a bit of smash and grab from fourth place.”