Melbourne Victory lure Matthew Spiranovic out of football hiatus

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The lure of once again working with Tony Popovic has rebooted Matthew Spiranovic's professional football career.

The former Socceroos defender, who hasn't played competitive football since Australia's friendly with South Korea in June 2019, has joined Melbourne Victory for the 2021-22 A-League season.

It will be the third time Spiranovic has played under Popovic after stints with Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory.

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The 33-year-old is also coming full circle after appearing for Victory as a 16-year-old before their inaugural A-League campaign in 2005-06.

"I am looking forward to playing the game I love again at Melbourne Victory," he said.

"The club played a significant role in my development when I was starting out as a teenager and under the direction of Tony Popovic this will be a new chapter for the club.

"The combination of returning to the club where it began and playing under the boss was too great an opportunity to miss."

Spiranovic made 39 appearances for the Socceroos and was a member of the 2015 Asian Cup-winning squad.

Popovic said Spiranovic's experience and versatility would be key assets as he aims to restore the former A-League powerhouse following back-to-back disappointing campaigns.

"After a period away from the game he has a renewed desire and passion to play," Popovic said.

"He will bring experience and leadership qualities to the squad and we look forward to seeing his renewed football passion on the pitch."

Spiranovic is the sixth new arrival for Victory this off-season after Jason Davidson, Josh Brillante, Stefan Nigro, Jason Geria and Ben Folami.

Another former Wanderers and Glory star from Popovic's days at those clubs, winger Chris Ikonomidis, is also believed to be on the verge of signing for the club after Perth confirmed the Socceroos' exit on Monday.