Glory represents Heart’s final pre-season challenge


Heart’s final pre-season friendly will serve up a semi-final rematch against Perth Glory at Epping Stadium

Melbourne Heart FC will take on a Hyundai A-League opponent Perth Glory at Epping Stadium on Saturday afternoon as the Club applies the finishing touches to its pre-season.

Glory, who defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in a closed match at AAMI Park yesterday afternoon, is likely to provide Heart with a difficult challenge, which will allow coach John Aloisi to gauge his side’s off-season progress.

Heart already boasts a healthy pre-season record, with the Club accumulating five victories, one draw and one loss in seven matches and a win against Perth will give the side momentum heading into its third campaign.

Aloisi-s side has scored 18 goals across those fixtures, and conceded just two, while keeping six clean sheets.

Heart has yet to secure victory against an A-League opponent in 90 minutes during the offseason, having succumbed 2-1 to Adelaide United through a Dario Vidosic double, while it required a penalty shoot-out to snatch victory from Western Sydney Wanderers.

Heart-s most recent friendly match, a 2-0 win over a Peninsula XI at Langwarrin Soccer Club, saw Aloisi field an experimental side, including a handful of trialists, but the Heart head coach has labelled Saturday-s match as an important hit out in which he will field a stronger line-up.

“This final hit out against Perth will be probably the most important match of pre-season because it is so close to the season and we-re expecting a good performance,” Aloisi said.

“I think the match is important for us, with the last couple of friendlies having focussed on allowing players to get minutes in their legs.

“We know it-s going to be a tough game against Perth, but it-s our last hit out and really important for us to play well and make sure we are ready for the start of the season.

“The performance is going to be a big gauge to see where we-re at and then we-ll have two weeks to refine what we need to work on so we can then concentrate on the game against Victory on October 5.”

Kick off on Saturday is 1pm.

Friendly Match: Melbourne Heart v Perth Glory
When: 1pm Saturday 22 September
Where: Epping Stadium (Off Harvest Home Rd, Epping)
Cost: $10 adults, $5 concession