Fornaroli fit and ready to fire in ALM decide

Melbourne Victory star Bruno Fornaroli has shaken off concerns over his fitness and insists he’ll be ready to fire in his first A-League Men grand final.

Socceroos striker Fornaroli trained by himself on Tuesday, jogging at Gosch’s Paddock after Victory’s grueling run of three finals to reach the decider.

But he and the club insist that it is a matter of load management, with Fornaroli expected to start Saturday’s clash with Central Coast.

“To be honest, I was not jogging, actually I was sprinting,” Fornaroli said on Wednesday.

“I just was a little bit different.

We played the last two very intense games and now it’s about being fresh and recovered because this weekend is the last game, the grand final and everyone has to be ready.”

The 36-year-old striker, who is also in a rare goal drought, backed himself to start and deliver.

Fornaroli has 18 goals this season but hasn’t scored in six games – last netting on April 6, when he converted a penalty against Melbourne City – and has been held goalless in all three finals.

But he won’t mind if Victory pulls through on Saturday.

“For me, this is more important than scoring one goal,” he said.

“It’s trying to help the team in every single way to be champions. That doesn’t change for me.

“So if I have to go another 95 minutes without scoring and win the championship – trust me, I will take it.”

Fornaroli was brought to Victory by his former Perth coach Tony Popovic late in 2022 and credits him for his late-career resurgence.

“Tony played a great part in the last couple of years for me and my football,” Fornaroli said.

“He helped me to reach I think my best in many, many ways and it would be special to win the trophy together.”

Victory last triumphed on the final night of the season back in 2017-18.

Fornaroli, chasing his first title, is desperate to end that six-year drought.

“It’s exciting because you can see now the fans in the street let you know that you have to win the grand final,” he said.

“For me, it’s special. For our fans and the club, everyone who’s involved in this, we will do our best to try and win the grand final.

“It would be so special. It is something that I fight very, very hard for. So now it’s about taking it.

“I have a couple of things in my mind to reach before I stop playing football and winning the grand final is one of them.

“I think this is my time, it’s the club’s time.”