Bolton Praises Heart Youngsters


Melbourne Heart FC’s reigning Player of the Year Clint Bolton has attributed his team’s rise to the vastly improved displays from the Club’s brigade of burgeoning stars.

Melbourne Heart FC-s reigning Player of the Year Clint Bolton has attributed his team-s rise to the vastly improved displays from the Club-s brigade of burgeoning stars.

Boasting the second youngest squad in the Hyundai A-League, Heart-s emphasis on youth has come to the fore in recent weeks, as the likes of Mate Dugandzic, B.J Hamill, Aziz Behich and Eli Babalj cemented their place in Head Coach John van ‘t Schip-s starting eleven.

After a stuttering start to the campaign, Heart has burst into life over the last two months, losing once in nine matches, an unfortunate 3-1 loss to the Central Coast Mariners, to commence a steady climb up the Hyundai A-League table.

With many searching for answers to the Club-s gradual emergence as a force this season, Bolton believes one factor stands above all others as the key to Heart-s continually improving displays.

“Probably a number of factors have played a role in our recent form,” he said.

“The first is we-ve become hard to beat, but more importantly, a number of boys have been stepping up, particularly the young guys like Mate (Dugandzic), Mickey Marrone and Aziz (Behich) down the left as well as B.J (Hamill) at the back.

“We had Matt Thompson in the back as a fill in, and we were always looking for a fill in for him, and B.J has been outstanding, while Eli (Babalj) has been fantastic. It-s really down to those young boys stepping up.”

However, while Heart enter the Melbourne Derby on Friday night off the back of a great run of form, Bolton is keen to emphasise Victory remain a formidable opponent.

The former Socceroo said the squad is wary of the challenge posed by Heart-s cross town rivals, which boasts a dangerous attack.

“I have the confidence in our team to know that on our day, we-re favourites to beat any team…..but certainly as a group of players, we have huge respect for Melbourne,” he said.

“They-re coming off a huge win and have a couple of very dangerous players who can hurt any team on their day.”