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Victory captain Milligan joins Baniyas

Melbourne Victory have confirmed the widely anticipated transfer of Australia international Mark Milligan to Baniyas of the United Arab Emirates.

The club captain and domestic marquee player will formally leave when the Arabian Gulf League’s transfer window opens on July 15.

According to a statement released by Victory on Wednesday, the transfer is subject to the completion and processing of documentation by the United Arab Emirates Football Association and Football Federation Australia.

“Mark has been a wonderful servant for Melbourne Victory who has led by example at every opportunity,” Victory head coach Kevin Muscat said in a statement.

“He won the Victory Medal [as the club’s player of the year] in 2012-13 and played a major role in our premiership-championship double last season.

“The offer from Baniyas presents a significant opportunity for Mark and his family that he would like to pursue.

“We wish Mark all the very best for the future and thank him for his service to the club.”

Milligan joined Victory in 2012 from JEF United Chiba, initially on loan, before making his transfer from the Japanese coach permanent in July that year.

The 29-year-old, who is able to play in defence but has become more accustomed to a central midfield role in recent years, was named Victory captain in September 2013 and led the team to the A-League title last season.

Milligan has also become a mainstay for Australia during his time at Victory, appearing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and helping his country to win the AFC Asian Cup on home soil in January.

The former Sydney FC man has reportedly been the subject of interest from Baniyas on several occasions during the last two years, while Victory also had to fend off interest from Crystal Palace in August 2013.

Wed 24 Jun, 2015
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