All-time omen points to A-League champions
If Melbourne Victory's opening month is any indication, the A-League champions are on course to set Australian football history.
Kevin Muscat's side has claimed three wins in their first five fixtures - from their last three outings - for their best start since their double-winning campaign of 2014-15.
On every occasion that they've started a season so well, they've won the league. And given the playing stocks available to Victory this term, they're firmly on track to become the first side in 42 national league seasons to claim five titles - overtaking NSL titans Sydney City, Marconi and Oceania club of the century South Melbourne.
The only player left at Victory from each of those title-winning seasons, Leigh Broxham, says there's a firmly optimistic outlook at AAMI Park. "Three wins in a row, it's easy to feel great," he said.
"I said that to (captain) Carl (Valeri). We are sitting a lot better off than some of the years we've had.
"Measuring it to last year I don't think we won until round six or seven ... the different feelings are chalk and cheese." Victory's fast start sits them behind only Perth Glory on the table in second place.
And of course, no one is thinking about a fifth title so early in the season. But there's plenty of confidence, especially given the results have come so soon after an off-season of major change.
Muscat moved on 10 players, brought in a full new set of internationals, and revamped his game plan and formation in a busy break.
"It's a lot of change," Broxham said.
"In formation, in tactics and personnel.
"It took a little bit of time (but) as you can see and as we can feel, it's really starting to click." Broxham, 30, has slot into his now-traditional role as Victory's everyman, filling needs for Muscat around the park as needs must.
"I was playing centre back in pre season and now I'm on the outside of the diamond (midfield)," he said.
"You look at the set pieces before you're coming on and I don't know where to look because I don't know where I'm going to come on.
"It feels like a norm taken to a higher level ... if it means I get to play, I'm not going to complain."
SLOW STARTERS: VICTORY'S FIRST A-LEAGUE MONTHS
2018/19 - 9 points - 2nd
2017/18 - 3 pts - 7th (Champions)
2016/17 - 7 pts - 5th
2015/16 - 7 pts - 4th
2014/15 - 11 pts - 2nd (Champions)
2013/14 - 8 pts - 3rd
2012/13 - 6 pts - 6th
2011/12 - 6 pts - 6th
2010/11 - 5 pts - 6th
2009/10 - 5 pts - 8th
2008/09 - 11 pts - 2nd (Champions)
2007/08 - 5 pts - 4th
2006/07 - 15 pts - 1st (Champions)
2005/06 - 6 pts - 6th