Kalmar looks to off-season improvement

After a season where he illustrated his capabilities as a creative and dynamic midfielder, Melbourne Heart FC’s Nick Kalmar admits he is already hungry to prove himself and earn a regular spot in season 2013-14.

After a season where he illustrated his capabilities as a creative and dynamic midfielder, Melbourne Heart FC-s Nick Kalmar admits he is already hungry to prove himself and earn a regular spot in season 2013-14.

Kalmar agreed to sign on for another season with the Red and White making him, alongside Jason Hoffman and Eli Babalj, one of three foundation players still plying their trade for the Club.

“It-s really fantastic,” Kalmar told melbourneheartfc.com.au after signing his new contract.

“I was a little bit unsure where my future lay halfway through the season, not playing as regularly as I wanted to.

“Luckily enough I worked hard and got some opportunities and played some good football towards the end of the season and I-m just really happy to be at Melbourne Heart for another season.”

The 25-year-old, who battled for a starting berth in Heart-s midfield alongside captain Fred, Matt Thompson, Jonatan Germano and Hoffman, finished the season with 17 appearances - 10 of which were in the team's starting eleven - and two goals and two assists.

At the start of the season Kalmar did not feature as regularly as he would have wanted, but told melbourneheartfc.com.au he kept his focus and grabbed the opportunity to prove himself when it presented itself.

“It was a difficult period personally early on when I wasn-t getting much of a game, but I just kept working, I kept my head down and I knew that once I did get the opportunity that I could produce some good football and lucky enough I did that,” Kalmar said.

“I can-t praise Fred enough for the support that he gave in the times that I was starting and there was no agenda or anything like that; he was really straightforward and gave me some good advice to keep playing well.

“And he helped me to relax and play some good football."

Kalmar is already aiming to build on his impressive performances - which saw him score two cracking goals this year - for next season.

“I like scoring goals and obviously one of the goals for next season will be to do that more on a regular basis,” Kalmar said.

“I want to step it up another level next season and play good football for longer periods of the season and try to be a regular in the team.”

Kalmar believes that process and focus has already begun as the team continues to train up until April 24 before an off-season break.

“Normally in seasons past we-ve finished the season and relaxed and let the hair down a little bit but JA [Head Coach John Aloisi] and Foxey [assistant Hayden Foxe] have kept us working pretty hard and the idea is to be prepared for next season,” Kalmar said.

“We-re obviously going to reflect on last season and take some positives out of it, but we-ve moved forward and are already preparing for next season - and the way we are working we are going to be ready.

“It-s an exciting time, we-ll have some new faces come in and hopefully that can improve our squad.”