Heart In Print

Find out what the press has been saying about Melbourne Heart FC over the last few days.

Find out what the press has been saying about Melbourne Heart FC over the last few days.

Herald Sun Mind games take toll on Melbourne Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton Grantley Bernard, November 16

DESPITE posting his second clean sheet from four games, Melbourne Heart goalkeeper Clint Bolton has admitted he has struggled mentally to cope with injuries that made him realise his age was now a big factor in his career. Arm and groin injuries limited Bolton's pre-season preparation and sidelined him for the first two games of the A-League season, hitting the 35-year-old's confidence that is usually underpinned by a strong training regimen. But without that work to keep his body strong, the mind suffered. Nor was his confidence helped by conceding a late goal in the morale-shattering draw with Sydney FC. "I moved on the next couple of days from that game, but there's other things going on," Bolton said yesterday. "Just a culmination of all different things - physical, mental. The most important thing is when I'm part of the team I'm doing a job and I'm at a point now where I think I'm doing a decent job.

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The Age Heading in the right direction Michael Lynch, November 16

MOMENTUM in sport is everything. One good shot can transform a batsman's innings; one good ride can rebuild a hesitant jockey's confidence; and one winning result can turn around a season. Having gotten itself on the A-League board thanks to an impressive second half that produced a 3-0 win over the Newcastle Jets last Saturday night, Melbourne Heart's senior players know how essential it is not to lose the momentum when they travel north to Surfers Paradise on Friday to play Gold Coast United. Another win in a logjammed league table would, given that it plays the first match of the round, lift Heart temporarily into third spot on the ladder. A defeat would potentially see it finish the round at the foot of the 10-team table if Wellington Phoenix wins its home match against Adelaide.

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The Age Heartening return for injury-prone Babalj Michael Lynch, November 15

ONE swallow doesn't make a summer, and an influential cameo appearance is a far from definitive statement about a player's likely long-term impact on his team. Still, teenage striker Eli Babalj did enough in his 35 minutes as a substitute in Heart's first win of the season last Saturday night to give management belief that persevering with the injury-prone player might be the best answer to their problems up front. The 19-year-old Bosnian-born West Australian, recruited from the AIS as part of Heart's inaugural squad last season, has flattered to deceive on occasions largely due to inconsistency that is to be expected from one so young. Babalj holds the distinction of being the club's youngest scorer - he was 18½ when he netted in a 3-2 loss to Adelaide 14 months ago - and he was able to learn much in his debut campaign from veteran forwards such as John Aloisi and Gerald Sibon. But injuries have plagued him for the past six months, and it wasn't until Saturday that Heart was able to name him for the first time this season.

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Herald Sun First win eases tension for Melbourne Heart Grantley Bernard, November 13

MELBOURNE Heart coach John van't Schip admitted he and his players were breathing a huge collective sigh of relief after registering their first win of the season. Van't Schip praised the new-found killer instinct which saw Heart punish Newcastle Jets after squandering leads three times already this season, against the Jets, Sydney FC and Adelaide. "The problem in the other games has been that we didn't get the second goal, we achieved that today," van't Schip said. "We kept on going forward and creating chances and you could see that we played free after that and with a lot of confidence. "I'm very relieved like the boys are, and I would like to say thanks to the fans because I think they've stuck behind us this whole time and there have been frustrating times for them.

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