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Jan 21, 2013   |  9:38PM AET

Own the Experience: Fan Bloggers

Own the Experience: Fan Bloggers

Melbourne Heart FC handed Foundation Members the ultimate match-day experience on Friday night as part of the Club’s ‘Own the Experience’ match.

Melbourne Heart FC handed Foundation Members the ultimate match-day experience on Friday night as part of the Club’s ‘Own the Experience’ match.

The members, who won a competition to have behind the scenes access to the Heart match-day experience, collected their thoughts and published them in personal and public blogs.

You can read their blog entries below.

Ashley Nichols, writes for The Big Heart
“For 3 years now Melbourne Heart has walked the talk, which is not an easy thing to do. Right from the start Melbourne Heart stated it wanted to be a club centred in the community. Heart-s “own the experience” round on Friday night showed it is delivering on this community involvement. And I got to be part of the unforgettable atmosphere that helped launch the team toward a rare win over Adelaide United. Read more here.

Aaron Petrucci, writes for Red and White Unite
“…it was a thrill to be selected in the Heart-s ‘Own the Experience‘ bloggers group & to be treated to a behind-the-scenes match day perspective. Our lucky group received an open door tour of the stadium, media room, stadium facilities & even strolled the pitch at half time. After the game we were ushered into the post-match press conference to hear the coaches- reactions.” Read more here.

Steven Forbes, writes for Red and White Unite.
As a Heart member since season one I-ve been very lucky to experience some amazing things whilst being a fan. Friday night however, I felt like our club took a big jump in the right direction. Some would say that 7181 attendee-s is not a huge crowd, but it-s a small gain on our last few home games, and it-s small gains over time which I hope will see us grow to compete with our leagues biggest teams.” Read more here.

David Hards, writes for From the Stands
“When I received a phone call during the week offering me a chance to #OwnTheExperience I couldn-t believe my luck. Melbourne Heart wanting to reward me for being a foundation member writing the occasional passionate blog about the club. Six of us hand selected by the club from various sources.” Read more here.

Hamish Jones, writes for The Armchair Selector
“I was lucky enough to be a special guest of Melbourne Heart on Friday night. As a passionate Foundation Member it was nice to be recognised but more importantly, it was great to see a Heart win after the heartache of last week.” Read more here.

Luke Gillman
“What the hell are you doing ref!”

Adelaide United coach John Kosmina is a fiery competitor and a proud man. He is also incredibly loud.

How do I know this? On Friday evening, thanks to Melbourne Heart-s blogger outreach program, myself and five other foundation members sat pitch side at AAMI Park. We were directly behind the Adelaide bench, just a few steps from the turf where it all happens for Melbourne Heart, Victory, Rebels and Storm.

But the outreach program gave us access to more than just the match that Heart ultimately won 2-0. We were given a tour of the entire stadium before the game. We saw the players- change rooms. We sat in the control room and watched the screens flicker back and forth. We saw Lleyton Hewitt interviewed by Fox Sports before the match. I even got to shake a suited David Williams- hand before the players warmed up.

All of this, however, was just a prelude to the real deal. The chance to watch the boys play against one of the league-s best teams, viewed from the same spot (more or less) John Aloisi sees the action week in week out.

It certainly didn-t disappoint. Yarraside sounded stronger than ever – testament to the #onemelburnian effort that has been building over the last fortnight – and the Yarra end was a sea of colour. The faithful were rewarded early on as Josip Tadic snuck home a header and the Reds were on the back foot. The bloggers saw the ball hit the net over Kosmina-s hunching shoulders, his frustration as clear as his gesticulation.

One thing I found myself repeatedly watching as the game ticked on was the body language of the former Socceroo. He didn-t leave his chair except to head down the tunnel, but he shifted position so often he seemed positively animated. The takeaway coffee cups piled up on the grass under his chair as the intensity of the match lifted. Kosmina would lean forward to pass on a comment to the linesman, or shout an instruction to his defenders. He would shake his fists in frustration, turn to conspire with his assistants or encourage his youngsters with praise. Seeing a professional coach up close and personal in their element was an entirely new experience for me.

And that is exactly the point of an initiative like this – to give the fans a view of the game they could never otherwise have. An incredible evening was had by our small group, and we each gained a greater understanding of the inner workings of the club we love.

Thank you to the team, and the team behind the team, at Melbourne Heart.