Melbourne Heart FC’s pre-season preparations stepped up a gear today with the squad taking part in an intra-club hit out at Epping Stadium in Melbourne’s north.
Image: Romel, livepixel.com.au
Melbourne Heart FC-s pre-season preparations stepped up a gear today with the squad taking part in an intra-club hit out at Epping Stadium in Melbourne-s north.
While the Hyundai A-League season remains on the distant horizon, Head Coach John Aloisi has maintained his charge to reinvigorate the Heart side as he looks to guide his team towards a potential tilt at the title.
“The players have been training for five weeks, and we think it-s time to play some football, 11 v 11,” Aloisi said.
“Today offers us the chance to see if the players will implement some of the things we do in training plus get match fitness. I think it-s important they play a game.
“I-m just looking to see where their fitness levels are at, ensure they understand the concepts we-ve attempted to introduce and also look at some potential youth team players for next season.”
With Golgol Mebrahtu, Mate Dugandzic and Fred the only first team members not to feature, the intra-club match offered Aloisi the chance to assess his side in a match scenario, casting a watchful eye on his potential first choice midfield and defensive partnerships.
Matt Thompson and Jonatan Germano were joined by Jason Hoffman to form a potent midfield trident on Team Red, who made a significant impression when fielded in advanced role.
Hoffman again looms as a key improver for Heart during the upcoming season, demonstrating the promise which has seen him earn national team selection from U/17 to U/23 level.
Indeed, the 23-year-old-s pace, movement and acceleration proved troublesome for opponents Team White, indicating the Hyundai A-League Championship winner is ready to take the next step from gifted youngster to first-team regular.
It was Thompson though who ultimately stole the show, netting a double in an impressive display as he first chipped over an advancing Andrew Redmayne before producing a technically perfect half volley which arrowed into the top right hand corner.
Having oscillated between a midfield and defensive role over the past two seasons, Aloisi appears likely to draw on Thompson-s undoubted creativity and goal scoring instincts by retaining him as part of a midfield trio.
Defender Steven Gray confirmed his reputation as a calm head in defence, producing an assured display as Team Red claimed a clean sheet, while in attack, David Williams reaffirmed his status as a player to watch this coming season with a dangerous performance on the left flank.
Team Red ultimately ran out winners 2-0 in a shortened 45 minute contest.