Heart Overcome Energetic Eagles To Wrap Up Westpac Festival

Melbourne Heart FC has opened its pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over a spirited Wimmera South Coast Eagles side at Elcho Park in Geelong.

Melbourne Heart FC has opened its pre-season campaign with a 3-1 win over a spirited Wimmera South Coast Eagles side at Elcho Park in Geelong.

Despite the absence of several key signings, including John Aloisi, Matt Thompson, Dean Heffernan, Wayne Srhoj, Michael Beauchamp, Alex Terra and Josip Skoko, Heart was able to secure victory in its first ever match, capping off a successful Geelong leg of Westpac-s Community Football Festival.

Strikes from Eli Babalj and Jason Hoffman, as well as an own goal, were enough to overcome the Victorian Champions League outfit, who provided energetic resistance capped off by a goal from Chris Greechan.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip said he was delighted to finally have his first hit out, revealing the match provided him with a great opportunity to assess the younger members of the Club squad in addition to a number of triallists.

“Following a long preparation, it was fantastic to finally see the team on the park for the first time,” he said.

“The match allowed us to assess various combinations and test the ability of a number of players to prove their adaptability in positions across the park, particularly the younger players in the team.

“The Club has had a wonderful time in Geelong this week, and we would like to thank for Westpac providing us with this opportunity to give back to the local football community.”

Van ‘t Schip also reserved praise for the Eagles outfit, comprising a number of the leading football players from clubs in and around Geelong.

“The Eagles played very well and were a great test for the team at this early stage of our preparation for the upcoming season,” he said. “There were a number of young players who seemed quite impressive.”

Melbourne Heart FC Squad v Wimmera South Coast Eagles FC

1. Clint Bolton, 2. Michael Marrone, 3. Brendan Hamill, 4. Simon Colosimo, 7. Rutger Worm, 9. Gerald Sibon, 12. Theo Markelis (trial), 13. Brian Bran (trial), 14. Kamal Ibrahim, 16. Adrian Zahra (trial), 17. Jason Hoffman, 18. Ante Tomic (trial), 19. Eli Babalj, 21. Kliment Taseski, 22. Aziz Behich (trial), 25. Marko Sutalo (trial)