Melbourne Heart FC kicks off their third campaign against Melbourne Victory at Etihad stadium tonight from 7.30pm
Melbourne Heart FC head coach John Aloisi has admitted he is in a relaxed but excited mood ahead of his coaching debut in tonight’s huge season opener against Melbourne Victory.
In a match which doubles as a highly-anticipated Melbourne derby, Aloisi shook off suggestions of pre-match nerves, stating he is ready and has his squad primed for round one at Etihad Stadium from 7.30pm.
Aloisi, a derby veteran as a player, and goalkeeper Clint Bolton gathered to address pre-match press ahead of the mouth-watering fixture and the pair and former teammates were in confident mood.
“I-m excited, I can-t wait now,” Aloisi said.
“I-m not nervous at all, I-m quite relaxed and we-ve done a lot of work on the training pitch, so now we-re just waiting for the game.
“There-s no better way to start the season, and a coaching career, than with a derby. Big crowd, good atmosphere. It-s going to be a big night.”
Clint Bolton, the Heart-s first, and only, number one will be hoping to take part in yet another big derby game for his Club.
Bolton is Heart-s second highest appearance maker, having made 56 appearances for the club, only one less than Michael Marrone.
The shot-stopper has kept two clean sheets in hit-outs against Victory, and there is no doubt he is keen to add to that tally come the end of 90 minutes.
“Excitement for me is probably not the right word,” Bolton said.
“Fired-up is probably more accurate; this first game in particular being a derby [and] knowing what it means for the Melbourne fans of both teams.”
The derby opener could also prove first competitive starts for a number of the Heart-s new boys, with signings Richard Garcia, Steven Gray, Patrick Gerhardt and Josip Tadic, as well as Dylan Macallister and young guns Ben Garuccio and David Vrankovic, available to play a role.
Golgol Mebrahtu is the only new signing who won-t be available to make his debut against the Victory for Heart.
With only Jonathan Germano and Mebrahtu unavailable, Aloisi has almost a full squad to choose from, but it would seem that Heart fans can rest assured that whoever plays will be ready for the task at hand.
Hyundai A-League Round One
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne Heart
Melbourne Heart squad: 1.Clint Bolton (GK), 2.Michael Marrone, 4.Simon Colosimo, 5.Fred (c), 6.Patrick Gerhardt, 8.Matthew Thompson, 9.Dylan Macallister, 10.Josip Tadic, 11.Richard Garcia, 15.David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 17.Jason Hoffman, 18.David Vrankovic, 19.Benjamin Garuccio, 20.Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21.Steven Gray, 22.Nick Kalmar, 23.Mate Dugandzic
* Three to be omitted
Ins: 6.Patrick Gerhardt, 9.Dylan Macallister, 10.Josip Tadic, 11.Richard Garcia, 14.Golgol Mebrahtu, 18.David Vrankovic, 19.Ben Garuccio, 20.Andrew Redmayne, 21.Steven Gray
Out: Brendan Hamill, Rutger Worm, Kristian Sarkies, Maycon, Wayne Srhoj, Alex Terra, Kamal Ibrahim, Curtis Good, Eli Babalj, Adrian Zahra, Kliment Taseki, Nikola Roganovic
Unavailable: 13.Jonatan Germano (Fitness – 1 week) 14.Golgol Mehbratu (groin injury – 2 weeks)