MELBOURNE Heart chief Scott Munn has credited the Border’s “can do” attitude for securing next year’s A-League showdown against Perth Glory at Lavington Oval.
In one of the region’s biggest sporting coups, officials are confident of attracting 10,000 to 15,000 people to watch Harry Kewell and his team fight for premiership points in the round 18 fixture on Sunday, February 9.
Munn described the announcement as a win for his club and the region.
“In 2011 we came to Albury for a regional festival and we built wonderful relationships with Albury Council and the football community,” Munn said.
“We have continued to work with the council and that has now resulted in the club going to play an official A-League match for points.
“Every person I have met at every level within the city council and AWFA wanted it to happen
“Today is a fantastic day.
“We want to make the game red and white.”
Kewell, who will captain Melbourne Heart, shapes as a huge drawcard with the former Liver- pool player to be joined in the side by former Socceroo defender Patrick Kisnorbo.
Munn said Kewell had already generated huge interest.
“We went to Shepparton a couple of months back now and the queues for his autograph that evening were hundreds and hundreds and he made sure he signed every autograph,” he said.
“He will be great for this city.
“There have been great footballers come from here.
“The great Archie Thompson, one of our foes, is from this area,” he said.
AWFA president Colin Johnson said the spin-offs would be enormous with players from Melbourne Heart and Perth Glory arriving in Albury at least 24 hours prior.
“This is fantastic news for us,” Johnson said.
“By sheer coincidence the game is going to be a week after our registration day for next year and this will get momentum and benefit greatly.
“The Albury people and the Albury community is sports mad and you can be assured that we will get a big crowd.”
Albury mayor Alice Glachan described the fixture as one of the city’s biggest sporting coups.
“The club and their representatives have been fantastic to work with and we’re ready to roll out the red carpet,” she said.
“For many years Albury has hosted trial games and warm-up matches across all codes and we are often told we are one of the best regional hosts in the country, both in delivery of events and our community spirit.”