Heffernan And Thompson Excited By Melbourne Heart FC

New Melbourne Heart FC signings Dean Heffernan and Matt Thompson have expressed their delight at joining the club as preparations continue ahead of the Qantas Socceroos clash with Kuwait.

New Melbourne Heart FC signings Dean Heffernan and Matt Thompson have expressed their delight at joining the club as preparations continue ahead of the Qantas Socceroos clash with Kuwait.

The duo, who have committed to multi-year deals to join the Hyundai A-League newcomers, are poised to arrive in Melbourne and link up with head coach John van ‘t Schip at the completion of the current domestic season.

Speaking to Fairfax Media, Heffernan said he feels the timing is right for a change of scenery and is looking forward to the prospect of working with van ‘t Schip, and his assistants, Jesper Olsen and Ante Milicic.

“Moving to Melbourne was a football decision. I felt as though I needed a change and a freshen-up and after speaking to John Didulica and the boss (Head Coach John van-t Schip) down there everything seemed like for me a good decision at this time of my career,” he said.

“It wasn't so much a hard sell. It is a step in the dark, but it was the same when I went to the Mariners five years ago. There has been a bit of talk about a change of position (to centre back) as well and it's all a new challenge.”

Renowned for his ability to play in a variety of positions across the park, Thompson had also been earmarked to play in a defensive role when he arrives in Victoria, similar to the task he filled for the national team against Kuwait and Indonesia early last year.

However his recent goal-scoring prowess - with four goals this season - is likely to have the Heart Syndicate's coaching staff thinking.

Thompson-s approaching move to Melbourne marks the first time he has signed for a club outside New South Wales, with the 27-year-old previously completing stints at Parramatta and Marconi in addition to Newcastle.

Despite enjoying his five year stint with the Jets, Thompson said his decision to ink a deal with Melbourne was primarily motivated by the lure of playing under former Dutch national star van ‘t Schip.

“I love the place (Newcastle), but circumstances change and I looked at the new Melbourne Heart as a new challenge for myself,” he told Fairfax Media. “To have a coach that's come with the reputation he has made it too hard to refuse.”

“Melbourne have told me they want to use me at left or right back and that's something I am happy to play, and if they want to push me forward that's fine too,” he said.

Both Heffernan and Thompson are in contention to feature in Wednesday night-s crucial Asian Cup qualifier, with a victory set to ensure Australia-s representation at the 2011 event.

With competition for a place in the squad fierce, Thompson is under no illusions of the task facing him in earning a starting XI berth against Kuwait, saying he would be content with simply selection in the final matchday squad.

“You want to put your hand up and do the job and I think I can. If you don't get in the starting 11 you want to be in the 18 and if you get a run you want to perform,” he said.