Heart will be back – for points or not

MELBOURNE Heart will be back on the Border within a year to cement its bond but it might not be playing for points.

Another A-League match would need the blessing of Football Federation Australia.

Heart chief Scott Munn yesterday floated the idea of a pre-season or youth league game on the Border.

He said another competition game was in the hands of those who worked out the fixture.

A day after 6000 turned out on a 40-degree day at Lavington Oval to see a resurgent Heart make it three wins in four games, Munn said the match had ticked all the boxes for the club.

It was the hottest game played in league history, — the 3pm start was delayed by two hours and drink breaks were slotted into both halves.

“Hopefully it also ticked the boxes for the city of Albury,” he said.

“The event ran incredibly smoothly. Given the changes, it ran like clockwork.

“The ground was in great condition and even the Fox (Sports) guys were impressed with the way it all worked.”

Munn said Heart was obliged to showcase the game in regional areas but more league games on the Border were up to soccer’s controlling body.

“I’m not sure what the FFA will do with regional rounds next year but, irrespective of that, we will be back in some capacity and, hopefully, inspiring the next Harry Kewell,” he said.

“It could be a pre-season match, could be a youth league game — there are a range of things that are possible.

“But it is up to the FFA to nominate whether you get the match, a match you can take to the country.

“Then it is up to the club to work with the council.

“This year we had that opportunity and the Albury Council delivered.”

Munn said the delayed start and extra breaks were a necessary evil.

“The players were well hydrated, precautions were taken and we didn’t have any issues with players suffering from the extreme heat,” he said.

“Once the wet-bulb test (used to determine the heat impact on players) gets to within three hours of sundown, you can take certain scores off and that was the thinking behind moving it to a 5pm start.”

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