Shotton bides time for A-League debut

Shayne Hope
·2-min read

Melbourne Victory signing Ryan Shotton has ruled himself out of Sunday's A-League clash with Brisbane Roar as he plays catch-up with his fitness after completing quarantine requirements.

The former Premier League defender was unable to get access to a spin bike or treadmill during hotel quarantine in Sydney and instead made use of his bed as a prop for limited strength training.

The restricted program means Shotton is at least a fortnight away from making his Victory debut - which will be the 32-year-old's first competitive league outing since July, when he made his final appearance for Middlesbrough in the English Championship.

Victory visit Adelaide United under the pandemic-affected fixture on January 23 before a home meeting with Perth Glory three days later.

"It's been a while (since I played), so that's why we're not going to rush into this weekend," Shotton told reporters on Wednesday.

"I want to make sure that I'm fully 100 per cent ready to come in and show everything that I've got.

"Training's been really good, I've enjoyed it; I'm trying to get to know the lads and get up to scratch as quick as I can, but I'm still a few days off that."

A trio of familiar faces at Victory should help Shotton and his family - his partner and two young children - acclimatise to Melbourne quickly.

The robust figure was a teammate of Rudy Gestede at Middlesbrough last season and has also played alongside Callum McManaman (Wigan Athletic) and Jacob Butterfield (Barnsley and Derby County) during a career spanning more than 300 matches in England.

"They're good lads, they've welcomed me well," Shotton said.

"They've made sure I've settled in and let me know some little advice that I need for me and my family."

Shotton will add experience to Victory's back four and has already been given the task of mentoring Olyroos defender Dylan Ryan, with whom he hopes to build a strong relationship in the coming weeks.

"I'll bring my leadership and my voice," Shotton said.

"I talk my way through a game and that's the big thing that fans will see."

Victory will be without Marco Rojas for their meeting with Brisbane at Dolphin Stadium, after the New Zealand international suffered a hamstring injury in last week's 3-1 defeat to the same opponents at AAMI Park.