Like most football fans I woke up shocked with the news Harry Kewell was entertaining not only coming back to the A-League, but Australia’s finest Socceroo could be putting pen to paper at Melbourne’s other club; Melbourne Heart.
When Kewell left Melbourne Victory it was for purely personal reasons and most thought if he ever returned to the league it would be with the league’s biggest club, or at least a return to his home town of Sydney. Not even the biggest Heart optimist would believe H.Kewell could be on John Aloisi’s teamsheet.
To me the news is exciting but Kewell isn’t the answer to all Heart’s problems. We must remember Kewell has played very little football in the last 12 months, and he certainly isn’t getting any younger. Saying this Heart will get Kewell at an opportune time, no football means the injury plagued Kewell is injury free, and hungry to prove to Socceroos boss Holger Osieck he is worthy of a place in his world cup squad, providing we qualify.
There is no doubt Kewell will bring fans to AAMI Park, call them what you like, bandwagoners or euro snobs I’m sure the Heart accounting department won’t be too concerned. Fans and quality attendances are still in short supply for the fledgling club, unable to get a foothold in the competitive sporting market of Melbourne after limited success over the last three years. Heart needs Harry as much as Harry needs Heart.
Some current Heart supporters have reservations regarding the signature of Kewell and with good reason, but those who say it will affect the direction the club is heading are kidding themselves. At present there is no clear direction coming from the club, other that survival. Continually we have seen young talent leave the club for both the benefit of player development and the balance sheet of the club. We have even seen youngsters leave the club for better wages offered within the league, given the tight wage structure of the club. Those who are disappointed with the idea of Kewell must see the bigger picture, Kewell has the potential to open corporate doors for potential investors, commercial partners and membership packages. Sure the last 24 months haven’t been kind to Kewell, but he still is Harry Kewell and thankfully that still counts for something.
Another talking point is the speculated wage of Kewell. Some have reported he will be offered a rookie wage of $48,000; a far cry from his wage demands whilst at Victory. I don’t buy this for one second, there will no doubt be an array of third party deals, inbuilt wage bonuses and other miscellaneous deals. This doesn’t worry me, Heart must roll the dice and Kewell is the best available bet going around.
The signature of Harry Kewell could be the most important in the short history of Melbourne Heart, Scott Munn make it happen, you won’t be disappointed.Google+