Three academy graduates promoted to A-League Men’s squad

Melbourne Victory is delighted to announce that Academy graduates Alex Menelaou, Luka Kolić, and Daniel Graskoski have been promoted to the Isuzu UTE A-League Men’s squad for the 2024/25 season.


The trio has played significant roles in the club’s successful Victorian Premier League 1 (VPL1) campaign so far, contributing to the team’s efforts to secure promotion to the top tier of Victorian football.


Alex Menelaou, aged 20, is an attacking midfielder who also captains the VPL1 side. He has been part of Victory’s Academy for the past three seasons, amassing 54 league appearances and scoring seven goals during his tenure.

Menelaou has excelled in midfield for the Academy side and, alongside players like Jordi Valadon, has been instrumental in establishing a pathway for talent from our Academy to the A-League team. He made his first-team debut in Victory’s friendly against Manchester United at the MCG in 2022.


Nineteen-year-old Kolić, who joined Joe Palatsides’ VPL1 team from Melbourne Knights at the end of the 2023 season, has also thrived in the Academy setup during his time at the club. Known for his versatility in midfield, Kolić’s goal-scoring prowess has been pivotal in Victory’s ascent to the top of the VPL1 standings, netting five goals in 16 matches.

Graskoski, aged 17, becomes the first player born in 2007 to sign a professional contract with Melbourne Victory, marking a historic milestone for the club. As a goalkeeper, he has competed across various levels of the VPL at Victory and has also represented his country at youth international level.


Melbourne Victory’s Director of Football, John Didulica, expressed his excitement about maintaining a strong pipeline of talent from the Academy to the first-team squad.


“It’s incredibly gratifying for everyone at the club to witness these players excel and earn professional contracts with the A-League Men’s team,” Didulica commented.

“Each player has made significant sacrifices to earn this opportunity, and we are enthusiastic about their future prospects. Their performances, leading the Academy team to the top of VPL1 and integrating seamlessly with the A-League team, demonstrate their dedication to hard work and continuous improvement.”


“As we head into the new season, we will have at least eight Academy graduates under contract with the A-League Men’s team, following the recent sale of Franco Lino to Europe in January. This underscores the success of our Academy program and the support provided by our A-League coaches, who empower these players through training and match opportunities.”

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo expressed enthusiasm about welcoming Alex, Luka, and Daniel to the A-League Men’s squad.


“We’re excited to have Alex, Luka, and Daniel join the senior squad this season,” Kisnorbo remarked.


“All three players have previously trained with the first team, but having them on a full-time basis will allow them to continue their growth both as footballers and as individuals.


“The Club has made significant strides in the Academy program over recent seasons, and I’m eager to see how this trio, along with all our players from VPL1 and the Academy, demonstrate their readiness to progress as footballers.”

The player will join the A-League Men’s squad at the beginning of the pre-season leading up to the 2024/25 season.



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