The key to any successful football side is the marshal at the centre of the back four. Arguably the first name to Melbourne Knights’ starting eleven currently is centre-back Milan Batur.
Now into his fourth season at the club, Milan has established himself as one of the league’s most formidable defenders’, with his efforts rewarded in 2014 by winning the Club’s Best & Fairest.
Paired with now A-League recruit Tomislav Uskok, Melbourne Knights achieved a fourth place finish last season, conceding a measly 27 goals – the third best in the league.
“Tommy will obviously be a big loss, he is the sort of player who can’t be replaced,” says Batur.
“We have signed Dean (Campelj) who can play that position, and we still have young [Ivan] Grgic here. Grgic and I played many games together last season and I thought we did quite well”.
Andrew Marth pre-season signings have added some quality depth to the Knights’ rear-guard, along with Campelj, new recruits Nick Glavan, Stefan Cali and Nikola Jurkovic can all slot into a back-four position.
“We have signed a lot of young boys, which is good for the development of the club. You have to help them and look after them somewhat early on, but they will always give you as much as they can”.
Last Friday’s friendly win against St Albans was an opportunity for Knights’ to field a full squad, with both Campelj and Grgic spending valuable game time alongside Batur at centre back.
“Last week against Avondale we had a number of players missing. It was our first hit-out against a good side and we could take some positives from that game.
“This week we played with more of our starting eleven side and hopefully we can continue to perform better”.
If Melbourne Knights are to achieve their goals this season, it will be without a doubt due to the commitment and consistency of the sides’ back four with, marshalled by none other than Milan Batur.
Season 2016 kicks off on Friday 19th February at home to the Green Gully Cavaliers. Memberships are available at melbourneknights.com.au or at the Club.