Heart Banking On Aloisi Experience

Melbourne Heart FC General Manager of Football Operations John Didulica believes new signing John Aloisi will play a critical role in the development of the fledgling club as preparations ramp up for its competition debut.

Melbourne Heart FC General Manager of Football Operations John Didulica believes new signing John Aloisi will play a critical role in the development of the fledgling club as preparations ramp up for its competition debut.

Following a career spanning 19-years and 56 senior international appearances, Aloisi arrives in Melbourne for one final hurrah before transitioning to a backroom role, where the Adelaide-born striker will work with Heart-s inaugural National Youth League team in 2010/11.

As the only Australian ever to ply his trade in the world-s three leading domestic competitions - the Italian Serie A, English Premier League and Spanish Primera Liga - Aloisi has sampled a variety of football cultures, becoming accustomed to the various nuances of the world game.

Didulica feels Aloisi-s experience and intricate knowledge of the European football landscape will prove invaluable for the Heart as the club lays the foundations for a bountiful future.

“Whilst he-s not the player he was ten years ago, he showed last season with 10 goals in 16 starts that he can still play and score at a very high level,” he said.

“But to actually have that plus now of somebody who can actually teach some of our young guys, being an example of what it means to be a professional footballer, those sorts of things are so critical to us.

“We are playing catch up, we have no culture, no history, so we needed to bring people in who we felt could start setting those things up, and John Aloisi is exactly the sort of person you want when establishing those structures.”

As one of the biggest names in Australian sport, Aloisi-s arrival in Melbourne is a massive boost for the Hyundai A-League newcomers and a vote of confidence for the groundwork completed by Heart-s football department.

Didulica said: “To have John with us for season one is a great step for us and really demonstrates how serious we are about being a prominent player on the Melbourne sporting scene.

“We certainly have been in talks for a while and have been pursuing him, but we really also wanted him to do his job at Sydney and what he needed to do there.

“We really wanted to allow John to focus on his footy for the rest of the season; we didn-t want to put pressure on anybody to sign. Once the season had finished we said ‘ok now it-s time to really commit and get it down on paper-.”

And sign him they duly did, securing Aloisi-s services for this season and beyond, aiding the veteran in making the shift from predator of the penalty box to tactician.

“We saw that as really great opportunity to get him on board with us,” Didulica said.

“He-s really tactically aware and an astute individual so being able to offer him a chance to get a foothold in his life beyond football was a real attraction as was the fact he-ll be learning under a great coach in John van ‘t Schip.

“He knows he can come here and really learn and absorb it for 12 months.”

With the countdown to the club-s competition debut well underway, Melbourne Heart FC invites you to register for priority access and become a member at the Hyundai A-League-s newest football club.

Click here for a registration form.