Liolios Preaches Caution Ahead of Busan Clash

It may be hosted on an island paradise, but the idyllic surrounds of Honolulu masks the challenge awaiting Melbourne Heart FC in the four-team Hawaiian Islands Invitational.

It may be hosted on an island paradise, but the idyllic surrounds of Honolulu masks the challenge awaiting Melbourne Heart FC in the four-team Hawaiian Islands Invitational.

Midfielder Billy Liolios urged his team mates not to under estimate the calibre of opponent facing the side in the Hawaiian Islands Invitational this week, with Heart entering the tournament as underdogs.

The Red and White-s have been drawn against their counterparts from Korea in the first round, with Busan I-Park looming as a stern test of the side.

Arriving in Hawaii yesterday, Heart conducted its first training session on US soil yesterday, acclimatising to the conditions which are set to meet the side at Aloha Stadium on Friday.

Liolios said the session provided an ideal opportunity for the team to fix its attention on the challenge immediately ahead, with the 18-year old expecting a tough battle in the tournament-s opening fixture. “For starters, the weather has been pretty good,” he joked.

“But I think going into training today, personally, we were still a bit jet lagged, and had a little lactic acid in our legs, but with regards to the session itself I thought there was a good atmosphere amongst the boys,” he said.

“The intensity was good, the focus was there, and going into the match, I think we can feel confident, but not under estimate the competition we are playing against.”

With the Heart-s Hawaiian Islands Invitational outfit largely consisting of younger members of the Club-s squad, blended with the likes of Socceroos legend Josip Skoko and triallists Chris Grossman, Jason and Glen Trifiro and Steven Gray, the tournament offers a unique opportunity for the side to test its wares against elite opposition.

“Looking at the teams that are here, there are some good teams we are going to be playing against, so I guess we-re looking forward to testing ourselves and seeing where we-re at,” he said.

“I-ve heard Kazu Miura ‘s here from Yokohama, and what an experience that would be to play against a player like that.”