With the release of the 2017/18 fixture one starts to focus on the upcoming season, and all the early signs point to a successful campaign for Melbourne City. As City fans we need to stop looking over our shoulder at our failed past and look forward, and face our future head on. We must embrace the fact most of the squad has been retained from last season, this gives cohesion and also reinforces that on paper at least we weren’t too far away.
The appointment of Warren Joyce should bring a renewed sense of passion back to the club, something that went missing directly after the FFA Cup triumph. Â Joyce needs to instil discipline, mental toughness and passion back to club and fans need to see players want to play for the shirt. Last season the club was rudderless under Michael Valkanis, there was no desire shown from the group and his tactics and post games speeches were written 48 hours before game day. As a club, Melbourne City failed every single supporter and Warren Joyce needs to acknowledge this and work hard to get the 12th man right behind this squad once again.
The inclusion of Eugene Galekovic is very good for the club, he wouldn’t have come to City to sit on the bench behind Dean Bouzanis so we can all rest assured our defence will be much better this season. The rumoured inclusion of Scott Jamieson would also be a great move from the club. An experienced defence could be the cornerstone of a great campaign.
The fixture itself looks decent upon a quick glance, with two home derbies and fourteen games at AAMI Park. The Friday night derby is an interesting one, but this is all about not giving free to air television all the derbies; and not about what is best for the game. For some reason City fans don’t really do Friday nights exceptionally well; maybe this could be a catalyst for change.
The Christmas derby remains, and whilst there might not be a push for red and white from City Football Group given the expected kit changes I would like to see this hat tradition continue.
City will play three Sunday night (7pm) games this season which will make it very difficult for any travelling fans or those with young families to attend and can only be seen as a Fox Sports initiative. Maybe we should refer to the schedule as a ‘Foxtrure’. AFL fans continually stay away from the Sunday twilight games and we can only expect A-League fans will only do the same for this TV friendly fixture. With 20% of our home games scheduled for this time this could affect club membership numbers.
The upcoming season for Melbourne City is a crucial juncture for our club, and as fans we need to get behind the squad, City blue kits and all.
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