It will be a strange feeling walking into AAMI Park supporting a new entity on Sunday, but one I have been waiting months for. For me, ‘City’ represents new hopes and dreams, and the beginning of a successful football club. ‘Heart’ strived for but never found success in their four year existence but this wasn’t for lack of trying. Heart will be remembered for the passion and enthusiasm needed for the A-League, but ultimately lacked both the killer edge and the quality needed to compete at the required level.
‘Sky Blue’ will surround the precinct around the stadium as fans make their way up to the first home game. David Villa is expected to start after his 40 minute debut last week in the draw against Sydney. Whilst I was happy with the overall effort of the players’ performance last week I was disappointed with the end result. Once again we played a team decimated by international call ups and were unable to take advantage. Points are tough to come by away from home, but ultimately three points were attainable at Allianz last Saturday night.
Attendance figures have never been kind to Melbourne Heart, but finishes of 8th, 6th, 8th and 10th probably didn’t deserve five figure crowds on a consistent basis. October 19th, 2015 Melbourne City will break the non derby attendance record for the club and hopefully we won’t look back from there. The ten week stay of David Villa will no doubt increase crowd numbers for a brief period, but attractive winning football will keep fans at the stadiums, and no doubt add significant numbers to membership figures (Currently up by 2000 on 2013/14 figures). Some faces from last season won’t be in the stands, taking a tough stance on the changes in club colours. Those who have made tough personal decisions have every right not to attend, but I must say it won’t be the same without those who gave so much, especially in the early days of the club.
What crowd figure is ‘Par’ for Sunday? Personally I would say 12,500 is an achievable figure, and something the club would be looking to target. Anything less than 10,000 would be an utter failure and a true reflection Melbourne is still too dark blue for my liking. The recruitment of Koren, Duff, Mooy and Paartalu should attract knowledgeable football fans to the club, and those who weren’t won over by either Victory or Heart. The second coming of the Van’t Schip era will defiantly promote attractive football, but will it become winning football? The club’s defensive frailties’ still worry me, but I am more confident than the previous seasons.
One can only hope the Melbourne City era is not only a successful one for fans in Melbourne, but the benefits are realised across Australian football as a whole.Google+