Matt's Musings - Heart Delivering On Potential

Since their inception, Melbourne Heart has always been seen as a club with immense potential.

Since their inception, Melbourne Heart has always been seen as a club with immense potential.

Based in the hottest football town (in a figurative, not literal sense, of course) in Australia, with a young, ambitious and worldly manager at the helm and promising debut campaign squad, many expected Heart to really push for finals football in their debut season.

Alas, it was not to be, and even with the experienced heads of Gerald Sibon, Simon Colosimo, Matthew Thompson, Josip Skoko and the current youth coach, John Aloisi, Heart could not deliver on that expectation. It is somewhat ironic then, that it is this season-s younger and less experienced contingent that looks set to deliver the goods at this early part of the season.

It is early in the season with just over one third of the season played out thus far, but I think that despite some bad luck at the start of the season, our position on the table is a rather fair reflection of how we have played thus far. Though in our matches against the Mariners and the Roar we have proven that on our day we can be every bit as good as either of those sides, overall we lack that same level of consistency, but there is little doubting that when we hit top form, we can go the distance with anything this league has to offer.

Twelve points from the last fifteen, including scalps at Suncorp, and Skilled Park, prove that Heart are a team that is finally living up to the immense potential that players like Mate Dugandzic, Aziz Behich, Eli Babalj and Brendan Hamill offer. John van-t Schip deserves his due credit for setting up an environment and a squad as a whole that is allowing the first team to derive the benefits of this youthful exuberance whilst limiting the inconsistency that such young sides are usually prone to.

Heart-s starting line up consisted of only four players 26 years old or over, and five who were younger than 24, and that young side displayed maturity and tactical discipline well beyond their years in the impressive win at Suncorp at the weekend. Keeping in mind that this is a venue that has not witnessed a home loss since the 30th of January 2010, and it is the same venue that Melbourne Heart-s short comings were so ruthlessly exposed last season, the growth of this club as a squad has been a joy to watch.

Now is not a time to get too far ahead of ourselves, and so tight is the league that a run of two poor matches could be enough to see the Heart tumble out of finals positions, but there is no harm in stepping back and admiring the football, and the results, that Heart are delivering.

More of the same, lads.

Matthew is on Twitter @mg91.