While Melbourne Heart FC’s youth side continues to confound all predictions, sitting second on the National Youth League table, Head Coach John Aloisi is able to look beyond results as a measure of performance.
While Melbourne Heart FC-s youth side continues to confound all predictions, sitting second on the National Youth League table, Head Coach John Aloisi is able to look beyond results as a measure of performance.
With player development the primary objective of Heart-s youth set-up, Aloisi has a mandate to produce future first teamers for Hyundai A-League action.
This emphasis has been apparent across the season to date, as Aloisi-s side mimics the 4-3-3 system implemented by John van ‘t Schip-s senior team in an attempt to better acquaint his youngsters with the rigours of the Ajax system.
“The character of the boys has been really good, but not just this week, it-s shown in most of our games,” Aloisi said.
“Even when we-ve not dominated games, or not been in control of it, we-ve still been able to fight our way through it, not only physically, but also with the ball. We-ve been able to play our way back into matches, even when we-re not dominating which is always good.”
However, despite the emphasis on development, results have also been forthcoming, ensuring Heart is fighting with the competition-s leaders for the National Youth League title.
“You always like to win, and you always want to be as high up as possible, but the important thing is the performance and improving as a team,” Aloisi said.
“We-ve got a lot of improvement left, we played okay in patches on the weekend, and there were some things we didn-t do so well.”
Victory over the Central Coast Mariners on Sunday consolidated Heart Youth-s place amongst the competition-s elite, with Zac Walker and Stipe Andrijasevic getting on the score sheet.
Although Aloisi was pleased with the final result, the Socceroo legend believes his side still has room for improvement.
“The Mariners are a strong side, and have been for the past year or so, a lot of their players have played quite a bit of youth team football, making it difficult for us, but we were happy to record a positive result,” Aloisi said.
“I know physically, the Mariners were very strong and made it tough for us, and we tried to keep hold of the ball as long as possible, but sometimes, when you lose the ball in bad areas, you can get caught, and they can attack you.
“They got us on a couple of long balls, which I was disappointed in.”