Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic will break the Hyundai A-League appearance record on Saturday night in the Melbourne Derby - and he's eyeing playing for another decade.
The blockbuster clash against Melbourne City will be Vukovic’s first taste of the fiery Victorian derby but also his 229th appearance in the Hyundai A-League.
It will take the ex-Central Coast and Perth gloveman past former team-mate John Hutchinson to sit alone at the top of most games played in the competition.
“I think it’s something I’ll look back on [later in my career],” Vukovic told reporters on Wednesday.
“It’s nice to play so many games…I certainly never thought I’d play this many when I started out.
“I’m feeling good, I'm fitter than I've ever been. I’m 30-years-old at the moment, [Glory ‘keeper] Ante Covic is 40 and still playing so I'd like to go for another 10 years.
“Whether my body will allow me or not I don’t know but hopefully I have a few years left in me.”
Vukovic was arguably in career-best form with Glory last season, a key contributor to the club sitting atop the A-League ladder for four months of the season.
Danny Vukovic's Opta stats for the 2014/15 Hyundai A-League season
While vastly experienced, he admits he is still learning and being challenged to improve his game under new boss Kevin Muscat.
"It took me a little bit of time getting used to the training here and the intensity is a little bit more than what I'm used to," Vukovic admitted.
"The way Musky wants me to play within the team is a bit different to what I've had in the past."
When signing with Victory, Vukovic always had one eye on the derby and he’s relishing the chance to experience the atmosphere at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
Victory has dominated this fixture recently – including a 3-0 semi-final win last season – but City is determined to close the gap on their neighbours.
If John van ‘t Schip’s side is to prevail, in-form Socceroo Aaron Mooy looms as the key.
"He's a very important player for them and he's probably playing the best football he's ever played," Vukovic said of Mooy.
“[But] you can’t really single one person out, the minute you do that you forget about others and get hurt that way We'll give them the respect they deserve but ultimately we'll worry about ourselves and if we can play to the best of our ability we'll get the three points on Saturday night."
Victory should be boosted by the return of skipper Carl Valeri from injury for the derby but Leigh Broxham will miss the clash through suspension.