Murray United will reunite with a familiar face when it heads to Wangaratta to clash with the Red Devils in their opening practice match on Saturday.
The club’s marquee signing from last season, Daniel Vasilevski, has taken the reins of the AWFA outfit and stands as an early roadblock for Murray as they look to build towards their round one clash against Eastern Lions on February 16.
Murray coach Elliot Jones said he hopes to see the best of Vasilevski after the A-League veteran struggled to get on the park last year.
“He’s super fit at the moment and I really hope for his sake that he can get his body right because he’ll be the best player in AWFA by a fair way,” Jones said.
“They’ve (Wangaratta) always supported us really well and I think we’ve played them every pre-season since we started.
“We’re really happy with where we’re at and we’ve got a massive month ahead.”
Following the Wangaratta clash, Murray will host fellow NPL 2 side Northcote City at La Trobe on January 19, before heading to Canberra for a pre-season camp at the AIS the following weekend.
Murray returns home for its final practice fixture against NPL 1 powerhouses Oakley Cannons.
“We’ve got an AIS camp on Australia Day weekend which we’ll all go away for,” Jones said.
“We’ll play Belconnen there in a practice match and train, eat and sleep at the facility, which is a great bonding experience.
“We’ve got a couple more matches against Northcote and Oakleigh, who are an NPL 1 side.
“They’ve had a massive off-season and we’re really excited to play them here on February 2.
“It will be great for our guys because they’re basically a benchmark for football in this state, we’ll learn a lot coming up against an NPL heavyweight.”
Murray United must hit the ground running after a receiving a three-point penalty to start the season when it was found to have played an unregistered player in its under-20s side last year.
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