Heart Given Clean Bill Of Health

Melbourne Heart FC will enter the final four matches of the Hyundai A-League regular season with a clean bill of health in a timely boost ahead of the Finals Series.

Melbourne Heart FC will enter the final four matches of the Hyundai A-League regular season with a clean bill of health in a timely boost ahead of the Finals Series.

With the final member of Heart-s injury list, Kristian Sarkies, now available for selection, Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has a full squad at his disposal for the first time all season.

However, while the likes of Nick Kalmar and Kliment Taseski, who returned from long term back and foot injuries respectively, are now available for selection, they join a long list of players looking to break into the Heart match day squad, highlighting the depth present in van ‘t Schip-s squad.

Despite netting twice during January, misfortune cost midfielder Kristian Sarkies his spot in the starting eleven after he collected a corked calf in training just over a fortnight ago, paving the way for the return of Club Captain Fred.

And with Matt Thompson back from injury, while Australian Under 23 stars Aziz Behich, Mate Dugandzic and Jason Hoffman have returned from international duty, the competition for first team places is fierce, placing van ‘t Schip in a rather enviable position.

Such has been Heart-s plethora of midfield and attacking options that Adrian Zahra and Kamal Ibrahim have been unable to force their way into the selection reckoning, with early season injuries temporarily putting pay to their ambitions.

The duo have been tasked with staking their selection claims via the National Youth League, featuring regularly for John Aloisi-s side during the latter half of the season.

Having overcome any lingering effects of his knee injury, Zahra remains a work in progress as he looks to rediscover the form and confidence which fuelled his rise last season.

The 21-year old has demonstrated glimpses of his best in youth team hit outs, and will no doubt benefit from a full pre-season to reignite his cause.