New Melbourne Victory signing Ryan Shotton has set himself two weeks to be fit for the club’s trip to Adelaide United to make his A-League debut.
The 32-year-old joined the rest of the squad this week after spending 14 days in quarantine where most of his preparation revolved around using his bed as a ‘prop for strength training.’
Shotton will not be rushed into the starting line-up with his only competitive match since July being a non-league appearance for local side Leek Town in October last year.
After missing the last three matches of the Championship last season due to injury, Shotton and the Victory have opted to take the cautious route in returning to the action.
‘’I think I’ll miss this weekend but then we’ve got an extra week to try to get fit so after that I’ll try get ready for the next game,’’ Shotton said.
‘’It’s been a while which is why we’re not going to rush into things this weekend and make sure I’m 100 per cent ready to come back in.
‘’We were well looked after in quarantine. They were really considerate during Christmas so I’m very thankful to everyone who looked after me and my family.
‘’The club tried to get me a bike but because it was the holidays they struggled, so I didn’t get anything fitness wise in. It was mostly strength work and a fitness regime which was using the bed as a prop to make sure I could get strong that way.’’
Shotton will inject a wealth of experience into a Victory defence which has conceded six goals in its last two matches and not kept a clean sheet in 17.
Despite this being his first move overseas, the former Boro defender has played with several of the club’s UK based recruits making his move all the more comfortable.
‘’I played with Rudy [Gestede] last year at Middlesbrough and then Callum [McManaman] at Wigan and Jacob Butterfield at Barnsley and Derby so I’m familiar with a lot of there,’’ Shotton said.
‘’It’s made it so much easier it’s allowed me to integrate so much better in the squad.
‘’I’ve also worked with Dylan Ryan the past two days and [Grant] Brebner sat us down and told me that he wants to bring him through and that he learns off me. It’s important to have partnerships all over the pitch, so if it’s me and Dylan then you have to form those partnerships. I just talk my way through games so that’s what the fans will see.’’
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