NYL Preview - Zahra Poised To Play Larger Role

Youngster Adrian Zahra is poised to play a larger role in John Aloisi’s National Youth League side when Melbourne Heart Youth face the Central Coast Mariners at John Cain Reserve on Sunday.

Melbourne Heart FC v Central Coast Mariners John Cain Memorial Reserve, Thornbury Sunday 27 November 2.30pm kick-off

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Youngster Adrian Zahra is poised to play a larger role in John Aloisi-s National Youth League side when Melbourne Heart Youth face the Central Coast Mariners at John Cain Reserve on Sunday.

Zahra played 30 minutes in his comeback match last weekend, impressing Aloisi as he took a massive step in his road to recovery from injury.

The Socceroo legend says he will consult with Head Coach John van ‘t Schip and High Performance Manager, Medical, Martin Wollin to assess Zahra-s capacity to assume increased responsibility when Heart faces the second placed Mariners.

“I-m still taking over with Martin and JvS if Adrian can play a little longer than the 30 minutes he featured for last week. He played well for his first game back and hopefully he can keep on going,” Aloisi said.

While Heart has made an impressive start to life in the National Youth League, Aloisi is keen for his side to iron out the inconsistencies which have plagued its season so far.

Although Aloisi acknowledges a lack of preparation is a key reason behind Heart Youth-s oscillating fortunes, he is looking for improvement, particularly given the challenges which lie ahead in the Mariners and Brisbane Roar.

“I expect a tough game of course, they-ve started well and are second top, so I expect they-ll be well organised,” he said.

“We-ve had some really good performances, and some performances were not so good. We-re still a little bit inconsistent, but that-s normal considering we just got together four weeks before the competition started and we-re a work in progress.”

Aloisi though has been impressed by his side-s fighting spirit, as demonstrated by their near comeback against Gold Coast United last weekend, fighting back from three goal deficit to register a narrow defeat, 2-3.

“It shows the spirit is there and they never give up. But we didn-t play our best, and hopefully we-ll have a better performance this weekend,” Aloisi said.