MURRAY United will take on one of the main contenders to join the A-League as the preparation for the start of its Premier League season hots up.

The Border’s only NPL2 side will tackle Victorian and national powerhouse South Melbourne, widely tipped to join the A-League in 2018, in a little over a fortnight at La Trobe University.

The trial match on Friday night, January 20 is the first of a double header weekend with FFA Cup semi-finalist Canberra Olympic to play South on the following night.

Murray United FC senior coach James Coutts said it would be a stern test just two weeks out from the opening game against Box Hill.

“It’s great that we will be coming up against one of the biggest clubs in the country, with the ongoing A-League scenario, it’s exciting to welcome them up to the border,” he said.

“They have some great players and it will be a great test for our boys.

“With our new recruits and players we have retained we are looking forward to the season ahead and this game is a big part of that preparation.

“With the earlier start to the NPL season pre-season has been slightly different this year however we are confident with the new players that have come in along our local talent who continue to improve we will have a successful 2017.”

Club administrator Marcus Copsey said bringing two team of this calibre to the border for a match was fantastic for soccer.

“These two teams are among the front runners for the A-League expansion and I would expect a very high quality game on the Saturday night,” he said.

“This is exactly what Murray United was set up to do – expose our talented footballers to the wider world, open pathways to the top tiers of the sport in this country.

“Having faced Bentleigh Greens last year and now South, we are really showing the big guns of semi-professional football in this country what we can do and some of the talent we possess here in the Murray region.”

Entry will be free for a 7.30pm kick-off at La Trobe on January 20 and 5.30pm on Saturday. Food and drink will be available.