Pondeljak named in GF

Tom Pondeljak has been named in an extended Melbourne Victory squad ahead of Saturday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final, with the veteran midfielder given every chance to prove he is over a hamstring strain.

Tom Pondeljak has been named in an extended Melbourne Victory squad ahead of Saturday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final, with the veteran midfielder given every chance to prove he is over a hamstring strain.

Pondeljak suffered the hamstring injury in the final moments of the major semi-final second leg against Sydney on March 7 and missed a training session on Tuesday as he continues his recovery.

The 34-year-old was the hero in last year's Grand Final scoring the only goal of a dramatic decider against Adelaide. The club believes that he will be right to play some role on Saturday but has kept its options open by naming an extended squad.

Defender Adrian Leijer expects Pondeljak to taek the field on Saturday.

"He's training tomorrow. He's coming along well. He's sick of people asking how he is. We've been leaving him alone. I think Tommy will be alright. He's been around the game long enough to know if he's right or not and if he's out there on the park, he'll do a good job," he said.

Youngsters Aziz Behich, Mate Dugandzic and Nathan Elasi have all been added to the squad which claimed a 2-2 draw against Sydney in Melbourne's most recent Hyundai A-League match, a result that proved enough to qualify the Victory for its second successive home Grand Final.

Billy Celeski, Matthew Kemp and Nik Mrdja are the only three Melbourne players unavailable for the match.

Sydney is expected to name Shannon Cole, but has been forced to rule out two of most experienced campagners in John Aloisi and Steve Corica.

Leijer said that Melbourne has to take advanatge of the fact that Sydney is missing two of its warriors for the game.

"I think it's disappointing, they have been two great players for the game in this country. Steve, he's retired, it's a credit to him for his great career, same with John. It-s disappointing they are not out there but we do have to use everything to our advantage," he said.