• Leigh Broxham is happy to fit in to the star-studded Melbourne Victory team wherever he is needed. (Getty) (Getty Images)
Leigh Broxham is leading by example with a clear display of the selfless attitude Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat wants from his players as they prepare for a campaign aimed at winning multiple titles.
By
Greg Prichard

7 Aug 2015 - 3:17 PM  UPDATED 7 Aug 2015 - 3:17 PM

Muscat welcomes 'serious competition for places'
Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has clearly made it a priority to ensure the psyche of his players is not invaded by a sense of entitlement as he plots a campaign aimed at chasing titles in three different competitions.

Muscat made it clear after Victory's 6-0 win over NSW State League 1 side Balmain Tigers in an FFA Cup round of 32 match on Tuesday that he wouldn't tolerate any player thinking he was entitled to a place in the team based on last season's A-League premiership and championship wins.

"One thing for sure is that there is some serious competition for places and history doesn't get you a game, it's what you're doing right here and now," Muscat said.

"We're pretty single-minded about the fact we must improve . We must improve on our performances from last year just to give ourselves a chance and that's what we're trying to do."

Broxham appears likely to slot in alongside Carl Valeri in the midfield spot vacated by the departure of Mark Milligan and also taking over the captaincy that Milligan held.

But when asked if he expected to play in that spot, Broxham said: "There hasn't been a conversation as yet. At the moment there's an opportunity there.

"I suppose it's up to Kevin and whether he brings someone in to replace 'Millsy' or not, plus there are a few young boys at the club who are pushing for a spot, so it depends.

"We've still got a few spots to fill, so it depends on what Kevin's frame of mind is and what he's thinking and what his plans are for me and the team as well.

"If I'm in there and playing I'll take it a game at a time, I guess."

Broxham led the side against Balmain. Answering the question of whether he expected to become the regular captain, he said: "I guess it's a game-to-game thing at the moment.

"I've deputised for Millsy when he's been away with the national team in the past and for a lot of the pre-season in the last couple of years I've captained as well, so the job is nothing new to me.

"It has just transpired that way at the moment and I'm happy to do the job for the team until Kevin sorts out what he wants to do.

"It's a nice honour and I enjoy it, but it's not something I would lose sleep over or anything like that if I wasn't captain."

Broxham is one of the most versatile players in the A-League. He can handle numerous roles in the defence or midfield.

In the grand final against Sydney FC in May, he played at right-back and scored a goal in the 3-0 win.
Instead of a typical Victory set-up of a back four, two midfielders and four attackers - with Besart Berisha at a clear top of the attack - the team formation was a bit different against Balmain.

That was to accommodate the fact the inexperienced Thomas Deng was playing in a key central-defensive role and that Daniel Georgievski had been switched from his normal left-back position to central defence as well.

Broxham played just ahead of the defence in a holding midfielder role, with two midfielders ahead of him and then three attackers.

It is that ability of Broxham to easily shift positions that helps provide Muscat with flexibility within his team selections.

"We had two new centre-backs, so I stayed a bit closer to them," Broxham said. "They did well. It's obviously not where I prefer to play, but wherever Kev wants me to play is fine. It doesn't really faze me."

Broxham has racked up 183 A-League games - all for Melbourne Victory - and since he is only 27 he appears destined to finish with well over 200 games and maybe even approach the triple century if he can maintain formĀ and fitness into his early 30s.