Melbourne duo solid in defence
Melbourne Victory has taken a big step to solidifying its mean defence by signing Daniel Piorkowski and Steve
Pantelidis to new contracts.
Piorkowski has been secured for another two seasons, while Pantelidis has committed to Victory for one more
Despite both players being former Qantas Young Socceroos, they were virtual unknowns before being signed by
Victory at the beginning of the inaugural Hyundai A-League. However, both featured prominently for Melbourne
throughout the season, with Pantelidis among the league’s top tacklers and Piorkowski ably filing captain
Kevin Muscat’s shoes while serving a suspension.
Piorkowski was understandably delighted with the outcome.
“I’m very excited to have signed with Melbourne for another two seasons,” he said. “I’m looking forward to
doing well and trying to establish myself in the starting lineup.
“I got a taste of first team football last season and I want to be a part of it and hold down a first
eleven spot more regularly. Once the opportunity comes you just want to take it.”
Pantelidis was equally happy to have extended his contract with Melbourne.
“I had some interest from other clubs in the league, but at the end of the day you just can’t go past the
facilities and the program here in Melbourne – not to mention the fans. Playing in front of such a passionate
crowd each week is such a buzz and I’m really looking forward to experiencing that again next season,” he
”Hopefully we can reward them with some finals action as well.”
Coach Ernie Merrick was pleased to have secured the services of both players beyond their previous
“Daniel and Steve are very good, solid young players who deserve contract extensions after their
performances last season,” said Merrick.
“We hope and expect them to continue their development into more mature and experienced players who will
play a role in the future success of Melbourne Victory.”
In other Melbourne Victory squad news, attacking midfielder Andy Vlahos has been released from his two year
contract with the club.