Kewell and Heart: a match made in heaven?
Harry Kewell can't believe it either (AAP Image/Joe Castro)
So Harry Kewell is back in the A-League a year after leaving the Victory to return to England due to health issues surrounding the family of his wife.
After finding out that his injury hit years in England made him lose popularity with the majority of clubs, he disappeared into relative obscurity.
After a short stint in the Middle East, Kewell has returned to Melbourne, but not with The Victory.
He has found himself with their rival and little brother the Melbourne Heart. In my mind this is a fantastic move for him and the beleaguered Heart.
As far as expansion teams go, the Heart have fared well. Keep in mind however that when comparing them to Gold Coast United and the North Queensland Fury, the bar has not been set so high.
Many people feel that besides the derbies against the Victory, they bring nothing to the league.
There are also some who feel that they would’ve been better served as a team in located in Geelong as opposed to central Melbourne, an area monopolised by Victory.
This has all been compounded by a mediocre season where they failed to make the finals.
Enter Harry Kewell, possibly the greatest player to ever play for the Socceroos and a national sporting icon.
I believe he may be the player to give the Heart a place in Australia’s footballing landscape.
While he may not have the marquee pull he had two seasons ago (the arrival of Del Piero and Heskey put paid to that) he will still increase Heart’s average attendance, hopefully pushing them over the magic 10,000 mark.
Marketing wise he can give Melbourne Heart that X Factor that will get them noticed.
Thats not to take away from the impact he can still make on the park.
John Aloisi has already mentioned that he may make Kewell the captain of an inexperienced outfit, and after the departures of Fred, Clint Bolton, Matt Thompson and the expected departure of Richard Garcia, he would be an obvious choice.
While never having regularly captained a side before in my opinion he has shown himself to be a fantastic leader and would be a fantastic guide for the younger players (David Williams and Mate Dugandžić in particular).
Having already started pre season training with Melbourne Heart, he will have three months to get fit before the season starts.
He never had that kind of pre season with the Victory, despite being out of the game for a year, he could be one of the few players to genuinely benefit from such a long pre season.
A fit Harry Kewell, even at 34 would still be a star player in the A-League and could well propel the Heart into the finals.
This A-League season could very well be Harry Kewell’s season. We can only hope.