Melbourne Heart FC To Finalise Squad By Mid-Year

Melbourne Heart FC GM of Football Operations John Didulica has revealed the club hopes to complete its player recruitment campaign before the World Cup.

Melbourne Heart FC GM of Football Operations John Didulica has revealed the club hopes to complete its player recruitment campaign before the World Cup.

The Hyundai A-League newcomer has already been active in the transfer market, snaring the signings of Qantas Socceroos Matt Thompson, Dean Heffernan and Kristian Sarkies, in addition to youth international Jason Hoffman.

Didulica is confident of adding more players to the Melbourne Heart FC-s inaugural roster before the end of the month, providing Head Coach John van ‘t Schip and assistants Jesper Olsen and Ante Milicic with a solid core to commence training in April.

But the former Football Federation Australia legal counsel doesn-t expect the remainder of the squad to be signed until the end of the European season.

“The regulations mandate the numbers the squad needs, which is between 20 and 23. We-re really bullish about the eight to twelve players we are close to having in place by the end of this month,” he said.

“Then the coach will hopefully sign three or four or even five foreigners, and then that leaves us with room to sprinkle the squad with some fresh young talent from the local leagues here in Melbourne.

“So I-d like to think we-d have our squad finalised by May, and that gives us a good three months to gel as a team and propagate the messages we want out there.”

One player who won-t arrive at the club until May at the earliest is Heffernan, who has signed a loan deal with League One side Huddersfield Town to further his international ambitions.

Following a stellar showing against Kuwait last month, where the 29-year-old scored his first goal at Socceroo level, Heffernan has catapulted himself into World Cup contention and looms as a potential squad bolter.

Didulica says Heart was happy to allow Heffernan to pursue his dream overseas, believing the experience could ultimately prove beneficial to both the player and club.

“Dean has moved to Huddersfield until the end of this English season,” he said.

“From our perspective, he-ll be back training with us in June of this year which is great for us, and if you ask most people, he is a genuine chance of making the World Cup squad. It would be awesome to have someone fresh from South Africa on our books come next season.” Bookmark and Share