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NEWS ARTICLE
Thursday April 27, 2006 Football :: Melbourne Victory


Melbourne duo solid in defence


A-League Club - Melbourne Victory 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 season.

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 said.

”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 contracts.

“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.



 
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