Melbourne Heart FC
|Full name||Melbourne Heart FC|
|Head Coach||John Aloisi|
DNQ (Elimination Final)
|Website||Club home page|
Melbourne Heart FC is an Australian professional football (soccer) club based in Melbourne, Victoria. Founded in 2008, the club has competed in the A-League, the highest division of football in Australia, since its inaugural 2010–2011 season. It is the 12th club to have played in the league. It plays its home matches at AAMI Park. From its initiation, Melbourne Heart was built on the philosophy of producing an attractive brand of football and a commitment to developing the growth of young Australian players. The club plays in the colours Red and White which are the traditional colours of the city of Melbourne and its flag.
Bidding process 
After the dissolution of the National Soccer League in 2003, brought about by the Crawford Report. Plans were drawn up for a new revamped national competition to begin the following season. Two separate plans put forward by the Professional Footballers Association and Libero Consulting called for the new league to be established under the name "Australian/Australasian Premier League" with two Melbourne clubs to feature as foundation members of the competition. One to be playing in the North West of the city, and another to be playing in the South West of the city representing the two population loads of Melbourne.
Despite the calls for the new soccer competition to feature two clubs from Melbourne, in 2004 the Football Federation of Australia announced that Melbourne Victory had won the sole licence to be the only Melbourne club to compete in the new national competition of the A-League, as well as bankrolling some of the clubs shares and finances as the club was unable to raise enough capital. A 5 year moratorium was also established preventing any other Melbourne side from entering the A-league competition until the 2010/11 season, allowing Victory 5 seasons to entrench itself in the Melbourne market.
By 2007 the then Victorian Victorian Major Projects Minister Theo Theophanous put forward the idea of a second Melbourne franchise being formed to be a founding tenant at the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, so that construction could go ahead as it was being prevented by the unwillingness of Victory to sign a full tenancy deal with the stadium, due to their contract with Etihad Stadium.
Speculation about a second Melbourne side progressed and on 12 February 2007, South Melbourne FC revealed that they were courting approaches from private investors with the prospect of being the second A-League club based in Melbourne. As part of the South Melbourne bid, the club was to be privatised and the bid name was to be 'Southern Cross FC'.
On 1 March 2008 former Carlton Football Club vice-president and businessman Colin DeLutis expressed his interest in a second Melbourne A-League side, with an approach to the FFA to become sole owner of the second licence with the bid name of 'Melbourne City'. FFA chief executive Ben Buckley raised the possibility of expanding the A-League from eight to 12 teams in May 2008, in readiness for the 2009–10 season. Buckley also revealed the existence of a third Melbourne bid tentatively known as 'Melbourne Heart' backed by Peter Sidwell, to compete with the two other bids of Southern Cross FC and Melbourne City. On 25 July 2008, the Melbourne City bid dropped out of the bidding process leaving the Melbourne Heart and Southern Cross FC bids as the last two bids standing. By September 2008 the Melbourne Heart bid was awarded exclusive negotiating rights for the league's 11th licence, beating out the South Melbourne-backed Southern Cross FC bid. Negotiations continued until Sidwell's group was awarded the licence to join the A-League's 2010–11 season by the FFA on 12 June 2009.
First Season, 2010–11 
Melbourne Heart was the eleventh franchise to enter the A-League (at the time of its first season), and the twelfth to ever play in it overall. Heart started its inaugural A-League season against Central Coast Mariners on 5 August 2010, at their home ground AAMI Park, losing 1–0. The club's first ever goal was, bizarrely, an own goal scored by Ben Kantarovski in the Heart's second league game, a 1–1 draw against Newcastle Jets. Melbourne Heart's first win was a 1–0 defeat of North Queensland Fury, which came in the fifth round of their first A-League season on 4 September 2010. They contested the first ever Melbourne Derby against Melbourne Victory on 8 October 2010, and won 2–1. In the middle of their season, they went seven matches without winning (six losses and a draw) and over five hours without scoring a goal. This was turned around when they travelled to play Adelaide United and beat them 2–1 in the final five minutes, despite trailing at 1–0 for all of the second half up to that time. Heart finished their first season on equal points with Newcastle Jets, but behind on goal difference in eighth position. They failed to make it into the top six teams to reach the finals, despite sitting in sixth position for majority of the season.
On 7 July 2011, the club announced it would take part in the inaugural Hawaiian Islands Invitational from 23–25 February 2012. The squad is set to be made up of emerging youth players as the tournament overlaps with the 2011–12 A-League season. Taking part in the Invitational will be Japan's Yokohama FC, South Korea's Incheon United FC and reigning MLS Cup winners the Colorado Rapids. Melbourne Heart drew against Busan IPark and lost 0–1 against Colorado Rapids.
On 1 September 2011, Heart added the addition of a youth team to the club, which will compete in the A-League's National Youth League. The youth team launched with John Aloisi as the inaugural youth team head coach, while highly respected Victorian coach Arthur Papas was his assistant.
Melbourne Heart's first game for the 2011–12 A-League season was against Newcastle Jets at Ausgrid Stadium. Heart were defeated 3–2, after a goal by Byun Sung-Hwan in added time. Heart lost their first two matches in a row after being defeated by Perth Glory at home, however they then went on to get 21 points out of thirty, making them 3rd on the ladder.
After their successful start to the first half of the season, Melbourne Heart only won two of their remaining matches, coinciding with the loss of Fred to injury, and Dugandzic, Aziz Behich and Jason Hoffman to international Olyroos duty, They finished 6th on the ladder, enough to make the finals, and had their best season in the club's history.
Heart's first final was against Perth Glory, where they were defeated 3–0 at nib stadium. On 1 February 2012, Melbourne Heart coach John van't Schip announced he was leaving the club at the end of the season due to family reasons.
Melbourne Heart announced on 8 May 2012, that former Socceroo and youth coach John Aloisi, had signed as head coach for 3 years. During the off season Heart were stung by the transfer of several young key players in Curtis Good, Brendan Hamill and Eli Babalj. However key off season signings included Socceroos Richard Garcia and Vince Grella, and two VISA players in Croatian striker Josip Tadić and Swiss/Liberian defender Patrick Gerhardt.
Heart opened the season with a 2-1 win over rival Melbourne Victory. The first half of the season was plagued however by inconsistent performances which left the club languishing in last place at the end of 2012, due mainly to second half fade outs.
During the January transfer window, Heart lost a further two key players in Michael Marrone and Aziz Behich on transfers, as well as midfielder Vince Grella to retirement. They bolstered the squad with returning striker Eli Babalj and Dutch midfielder Marcel Meeuwis.
The new year saw more consistent results at home with 4 wins in a row, resulting in a gradual climb up the table. However, a run of poor results saw the Heart finish in 9th place out of 10 teams on the A-League ladder, their worst ever A-League finish. As a result of the Heart finishing second-to-last on the A-League ladder, their worst finish in an A-League season, Melbourne Heart veterans Clint Bolton, Simon Colosimo, Matt Thompson and Fred, were released by the Heart at the conclusion of the 2012-13 A-League season.
Name, colours and badge 
In October 2009, an online competition held by the Herald Sun gave the public the opportunity to submit their preferences for the name of the new Melbourne team. The preferred names were released on the Herald Sun website on 13 November 2009. The four options were 'Sporting Melbourne FC', 'Melburnians', 'Melbourne Revolution' and 'Melbourne Heart FC'. Some pondered if 'Revolution' had some context considering its intimation to the Eureka Stockade, the closest Australia has come to revolution. The name of the new club was to be announced before the end of 2009, but this was delayed until early 2010 due to AFL objections to the use of the words Melbourne, Football and Club in the name. The Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation expressed concern that the name Melbourne Heart was too similar to its annual Heart of Melbourne Appeal, and lodged a protest with IP Australia in January 2010. The club's badge was lodged to IP Australia the same month by the FFA, and on 2 February 2010, the name of the club was announced as Melbourne Heart FC.
Initially, a colour scheme of either black and white, or red and white were the two options for the club. The eventual choice was red and white stripes, with a red sash on white for the away kit.
Melbourne Heart's strip red with white stripes on the front of the jersey with red shorts and red socks, the away kit is with a red sash on white, with white shorts and socks. The design for the team's third kit was chosen from entries submitted by fans, the jersey is grey with a red and white sash, the shorts are white.
Shirt sponsors and kit manufacturers 
On 16 February 2010, leading financial institution Westpac teamed up with the Melbourne Heart for a three-year agreement believed to be worth close to $2 million. They are be their principal partner, the Westpac logo appears on the front of the 'Home' and 'Away' Melbourne Heart kits. The club also hosts 3 'Westpac' community camps, annually across regional Victoria. Drake International, Public Transport Victoria and BDO are the major sponsors of the club.
On 1 September 2011 ParkTrent was announced as the Melbourne Heart FC's youth teams primary sponsor. CEO Scott Munn said that the deal is the "largest ever National Youth League corporate partnership".
|Period||Kit maker||Front sponsor||Back sponsor||Sleeve
|2012–2013||Kappa||BDO||AXF Group (Home)||Matchworks (Away)|
The following individuals comprise Melbourne Heart FC 's Board of Directors:
FFA chief executive Ben Buckley raised the possibility of expanding the A-League from 8 to 12 teams in May 2008, in readiness for the 2009–10 season. One of 3 bids was Melbourne Heart owned by a consortium led by Peter Sidwell, his investor partners were property developer David Kobritz, local businessman Michael Catalano and entertainment promoter Patrick Prendergast. on 12 June 2009, Melbourne Heart were awarded the 11th A-league license, to join for the 2010–11 A-league season.
Melbourne Heart's home ground is currently AAMI Park. Melbourne Heart's largest average season attendance is 9,553, while Heart's largest ever attendance for a single match is 18,479 against Melbourne Victory in round 12 of the 2011–12 A-League season.
Training facilities 
Club culture 
- Melbourne Victory-(The Melbourne Derby). Melbourne Heart's rival is Melbourne Victory. Although there are many state or regional rivalries, the Melbourne derby was the first and only inner city until the Western Sydney Wanderers joined the A-League in the 2012/13 season. The first match between the two clubs saw Melbourne Heart win 2–1 in front of a sold out AAMI Park crowd of over 25,000 spectators.
The rivalry became more intense in the third edition on 22 January 2011, when Victory's Kevin Muscat made a mis-timed tackle on Heart's Adrian Zahra, which earnt Muscat a red card and an eight-week suspension, and was the direct cause of a season-ending knee injury to Zahra. The rivalry has reached new heights off the field with rival supporters "declaring war on the streets" with a Melbourne Victory supporter group stealing a "Yarraside" banner and in retaliation, Heart supporters attempted to kidnap a Victory supporter in a reprisal attack.
Current squad 
- As of 22 May 2013
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Internationally Capped Players 
|David Williams (Australian association footballer)||Australia||2||(0)||2008-|
Youth squad 
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Notable former players 
||This list of "famous" or "notable" persons has no clear inclusion or exclusion criteria. Please help to define clear inclusion criteria and edit the list to contain only subjects that fit those criteria. (March 2013)|
Players whose name is listed in bold represented their countries while playing for Melbourne Heart. For details of former players, see List of Melbourne Heart players.
Retired number(s) 
12 – Yarraside (Club Supporters)
Top goal scorers 
Last updated 9 April 2013
|1||Eli Babalj||2010–12, 2013–||12 (44)|
|2||John Aloisi||2010–11||8 (20)|
|=3||Mate Dugandžić||2011–||7 (30)|
|=3||Gerald Sibon||2010–11||7 (27)|
|=3||Alex Terra||2010–12||7 (43)|
|=3||Matt Thompson||2010–13||7 (82)|
|=7||Josip Tadic||2012–13||6 (22)|
|=7||David Williams||2011–||6 (39)|
|=7||Richard Garcia||2012–||6 (24)|
|=10||Nick Kalmar||2010–||5 (50)|
|=10||Golgol Mebrahtu||2012–||5 (14)|
Game Record Holders 
Last updated 9 April 2013
- (As of 8 April 2013)
- Record Win: 4–0 Sydney, 29 December 2011
- Record Defeat: 0–4 Brisbane Roar, 25 September 2010
- Undefeated Streak: 6 (17 February 2012 – 23 March 2012)
- Winning Streak: 5 (4 December 2011 – 29 December 2011)
- Winless Streak: 8 (4 January 2012 – 11 February 2012)
- Record High Attendance: 26,579 v (Melbourne Victory, 23 December 2011)
- Lowest Home Attendance: 2,754 v (Newcastle Jets, 8 December 2010)
- Champions (0):
- Runners-Up (0):
- Premiership (0):
- Runners-Up (0):
- Finals Series Appearances (1): 2011–12
- Champions (0):
Minor Trophies 
Craig Foster Cup
- Winners (1): 2012
End of Season Awards 
- Player of the Year: Clint Bolton
- Supporters Player of the Year: Clint Bolton Fred(co-winners)
- John Aloisi Golden Boot Award: Eli Babalj
- Clubman Award: Aziz Behich
- Chairman’s Award: Rebecca May
- Volunteer of the Year: Peter Bradley & Lloyd Clothier
All-time A-League win/loss (including finals) 
Last updated 30 March 2013
|Central Coast Mariners||9||1||1||7||4||12||−8|
|Gold Coast United||6||2||3||1||5||6||−1|
|North Queensland Fury||3||3||0||0||6||2||4|
|Western Sydney Wanderers||3||0||0||3||2||6||-4|
Year-by-year history 
|Season||Teams||FFA Cup||Premiership Position||Championship Qualification||Championship Position||ACL Qualification||ACL Placing|
Club officials 
Senior Squad Coaching Staff
Youth Squad Coaching Staff
Senior Staff and Board members
|23 October 2009 – 1 April 2012||John van 't Schip||Inaugural manager|
|8 May 2012 – present||John Aloisi||First Australian Manager|
See also 
- Ritson, Jon (4 August 2009). "Victory Skipper Is All Heart". FourFourTwo (Australia). Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- Aidan, Ormond (4 August 2009). "'A-League Will Hit The Big-Time'". FourFourTwo (Australia). Retrieved 18 August 2009.
- "Melbourne Flag". Onlymelbourne.com.au. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "PFA launches APL model". Sportal. Retrieved 11 July 2012.
- Desira, Peter (21 November 2007). "Geoff Lord and Co take control of full Victory". Herald Sun (Herald and Weekly Times).
- "LORD LEADS MELBOURNE TO VICTORY AS HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE TAKES SHAPE". Archived from the original on 27 May 2005. Retrieved 1 November 2004.
- Lynch, Michael (22 October 2004). "Lord among masters of Victory bid". The Age (Melbourne).
- Lynch, Michael (14 February 2007). "South Melbourne wants to be second Victorian a-league club". The Age. Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- "Investors Chase South Melbourne FC For A League Bid". South Melbourne FC. 12 February 2007. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "South Melbourne's A-League Bid". Australian FourFourTwo. 6 April 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "DeLutis wants soccer team". Herald Sun. 1 March 2008. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Lynch, Michael (30 April 2008). "A-League set for Melbourne derby". The Age. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Niall, Jake (24 July 2008). "Sidwell bid tipped to win second franchise". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Reed, Ron (13 June 2009). "Melbourne awarded licence for second A-League team". Fox Sports (Australia). Retrieved 12 October 2009.
- Bernard, Grantley (5 August 2010). "Melbourne Heart sinks to Mariners 1–0". Herald Sun. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Heart off the mark with first win". ABC News. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Melbourne Heart FC to take part in Hawaiian Island inaugural Soccer Event - What's On". etravelblackboard.com. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Heart swoops for star duo : The World Game on SBS". Theworldgame.sbs.com.au. 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Fred the new Melbourne Heart captain". The Sydney Morning Herald. 27 September 2011.
- "Heart Reveal Youth Squad - Australia News - Australian FourFourTwo - The Ultimate Football Website". Au.fourfourtwo.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Heart joins futsal family : Australia : The World Game on SBS". Theworldgame.sbs.com.au. 2012-05-04. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- By: Futsal4All Admin (2012-04-30). "Melbourne Heart Futsal’s Edgard Vatcky speaks to the hummel F-League | Futsal4all - Futsal in Australia and NZ". Futsal4all. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Melbourne Heart FC Futsal | Cobras Futsal Club". Cobrasfutsal.com.au. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- Did you want to make a comment? Use our form below… (2012-02-01). "John van't Schip to leave Melbourne Heart at end of 2011-2012 A-League season, citing family reasons | A-League". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Heart plumps for Aloisi : The World Game on SBS". Theworldgame.sbs.com.au. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "The Melbourne Heart name saga rolls on". The Roar. 18 November 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Postcard From Europe". Melbourneheartsyn.com. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- Lynch, Michael (27 January 2010). "Heart to make early start, but stars may be missing". Melbourne: The Age. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- 3 February 2010 8:57AM (3 February 2010). "Charity protests at Melbourne Heart's logo". Herald Sun. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Images for Trade Mark 1342740". Pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Images for Trade Mark 1342741". Pericles.ipaustralia.gov.au. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Introducing Melbourne Heart FC : The World Game on SBS". Theworldgame.sbs.com.au. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- Melbourne Heart FC name and logo confirmed, The Roar. Retrieved 4 February 2010
- "Drake International Pledges Its Heart To Melbourne As Away Strip Is Unveiled". MHFCSA. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Melbourne Heart Third Jersey Competition Winner Revealed". The Real Game. 2011-09-09. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Heart and WESTPAC Unite To Bring Football To Community". Melbourne Heart FC. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Melbourne take heart from Westpac sponsorship". SportsPro. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
- "Melbourne Heart signs Clint Bolton, chases John Aloisi". Herald Sun. 17 February 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Melbourne Heart Football Club Partners". Footballaustralia.com.au. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Red & White Unite » Aloisi Confirms Youth Squad As ParkTrent Announces Support". Redwhiteunite.com. 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Latest Football Australia News". Footballaustralia.com.au. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- [dead link]
- Lynch, Michael (1 May 2008). "A-League set for Melbourne derby". The Age (Melbourne).
- Reed, Ron (2009-06-13). "Melbourne awarded licence for second A-League team | A-League". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Goalkeeper Bolton wins Hearts' top gong in debut season". The Age (Melbourne).
- "Heart announces partnership, La Trobe University". Latrobe.edu.au. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- Bernard, Grantley (2010-10-06). "Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory preparing for fiery derby clash | A-League". Fox Sports. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "First Melbourne derby officially sold out | Australia/Asia News". Tribal Football. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
- "Kevin Muscat banned for eight games for tackle on Adrian Zahra". Herald Sun. 28 January 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
- "Small players to get a shot at A-League's best". Melbourne: The Age. 17 February 2011. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- "Board & Management". Melbourne Heart FC. Retrieved 7 May 2011.