Another big week for Melbourne Heart: losing to ten man Western Sydney, losing Grella and then Aziz Behich, the fan forum on Wednesday and the upcoming derby on Saturday.
WSW have hit the ground running and you would think that of the two Sydney teams, that they have been in the league for years and Sydney FC were the new kids on the block. The WSW match was always going to be a tough one, not least because they have one of the most passionate crowds in the A-League. It all started off well with Williams’ attack on goal resulting in WSW’s Polenz being shown the red card in the first 13 minutes, giving Heart the chance to score from a penalty. You would have put money on Tadic converting, but he hit it poorly by his standards. After the penalty miss, it looked like Heart had the man down and WSW were playing for the win. They were feeding off their crowd, while Heart seemed to take a back foot and wait for the chances to come to them. In the end Heart were lucky to come out of it 1 goal down. It was great to see both Babalj and Grella come onto the field and in injury time Babalj was involved in one of our best chances to equalise. Who would have guessed it was to be Grella’s one and only appearance in the Red and White? All the best Vince after an amazing career including his time as a linchpin of the Socceroos.
Melbourne Heart had their first Fan Forum for 2013, at AAMI park last Wednesday night. Ashley went along to see what it was all about. Here are his views…
Having never been to anything like this before I was not sure what to expect. Once again Melbourne Heart walked the talk. Chairman Peter Sidwell started the forum off with going over the fundamentals of what the club is all about and the point of differences with the other Melbourne team, Victory. Melbourne Heart has long term plans of becoming a great club by working in and with the community as one of their main objectives; another is giving the youth of Victoria something to look up to.
Then they opened up to the fans for a long QandA. Of course most questions went to John Aloisi and the players – how do they think the team could perform better or why Aloisi makes certain decisions. John Aloisi is a professional and a champion, answering all questions and listening to them all too. It is easy being on the sidelines as a supporter and saying what they should do, but when John explained a situation, a certain match, where he might not have had enough players to field, you can then understand the pressure and what he has to work with.
The Fan Forum was a great night, and what a better week to have it than just before the Derby match. Melbourne Victory are sitting in second spot, and under Ange are back on the winning track. With Heart losing Aziz on Tuesday, the unfortunate retirement of Grella and Fred still injured Saturday’s game is going to be tough. Some light at the end of the tunnel is having Babalj back and also Golgol might be ready to be named back in the squad from his injury.
John Aloisi has got some tough decisions to make, but one thing for sure is that the players and coaching staff want this win just as much as the supporters want it. The one thing about the Melbourne Derby is that no matter who is playing in both teams, they both come out and give us a match that is compelling to watch. C’mon Red and White supporters, we need you all there at Docklands tonight to give our boys a boost.
Concluding on a hopefully exciting note, Scott Munn was unable to be at the Fan Forum due to business in Europe. Let’s hope this means he will return with a much-needed experienced player to add to our line up, to help ease the burden of the losses of Behich, Grella and Marrone.