The Hyundai A-League’s newest franchise has found their new training and administration base.
Melbourne Heart FC announced on Tuesday that La Trobe University’s Bundoora campus will become their inaugural home for the next two years.
La Trobe’s current facilities and sports fields will be upgraded to FIFA standard and will serve as Melbourne Heart’s full-time base during its inaugural season in the Hyundai A-League.
Scott Munn, Chief Executive Officer of Melbourne Heart, welcomed the new deal.
‘As a football club, there were a number of criteria which we considered to be of paramount importance when canvassing the options for the location of our training base,’ Munn said.
‘Most important of which was an ability to house both administrative and training arms of our club as well as provide ample access to various support services, including conditioning and medical facilities.’
The new facilities will house 30 full-time employees from the club which will include coaches, medical and support staff.
Professor Paul Johnson, La Trobe Vice Chancellor, said that the new deal struck between the two parties will also greatly benefit students at the university.
‘I am thrilled with the potential benefits La Trobe students will receive with Melbourne Heart on campus’, Professor Johnson said.
‘There will be placement opportunities at the Club for La Trobe students in allied health, journalism, marketing and event management and students will have a unique chance to gain valuable experience inside a world-class sporting club.’
‘We will look to build a bridge between the Melbourne Heart and the local community’.
Munn will look to build a strong supporter base at the university with a high majority of the 5000 international students believing soccer as the number sport in the world.
‘This is not just a leasing arrangement,’ Munn said.
‘There will be plenty of initiatives for La Trobe students and hopefully all 27,000 of them can come on board. We will look at things such as transport to matches and beneficial discounts to students at the university.’
Melbourne Heart also announced that they have signed former Socceroo Wayne Srhoj under a multi-year deal.
The 28 year-old is a naturally gifted midfielder who is known for his silky smooth skills. He has great vision, an impressive passing range and his presence through the middle of a soccer field will be vital to his new club’s success.
Srhoj joins John Aloisi, Matt Thompson and Clint Bolton on Melbourne Heart’s growing and impressive roster.