Where are they now: Melbourne Heart’s inaugural squad

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On August 5, 2008 Melbourne Heart played their first competitive match in the A-League.

Since then, the club has experienced significant transformation – including a name change – but what has happened to the players who played in the club’s match?

Some have returned home while others have gone on to have great club and international careers.

Clint Bolton – One of the league’s best shot stoppers of his time is now applying his trade in the media. The former A-League winner voices his views on the world game on websites like The Roar and on radio at 1116 SEN where he is part of the team which calls A-League matches

Michael Marrone – The only player in the starting team still playing in the A-League – Marrone is a first team regular for Adelaide United, drifting between right and centre back. Marrone scored one of the most important goals of Adelaide’s season in the third equalising goal in his side’s hectic semi-final loss to Perth Glory.

After 70 appearances for Heart/City he has donned the Adelaide United shirt 169 times.

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Simon Colosimo – Currently in the Netherlands, the former Socceroo keeps a keen eye on the A-League and Australian football.

Michael Beauchamp – The 38-year-old returned to the Western Sydney Wanderers after two seasons at Marconi to take on a coaching position. Beauchamp has joined the Wanderers as an assistant coach to the club’s women’s team along side former W-League player Catherine Cannuli.

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Matt Thompson – When he’s not playing for Maitland FC in NPL Northern NSW the former Newcastle Jets captain works as a real estate agent. Since hanging up the boots professionally, the 36-year-old has made 69 appearances for the NPL side and has scored 29 goals.

Dean Heffernan – Like Beauchamp, the former Wanderers player joined the club’s coaching staff in April where was unveiled as the W-League coach for season 2019/20. After a disastrous season, the Wanderers look to Heffernan to recover the pieces and take the side up the table.

Nick Kalmar – Known for his amazing free kicks, Kalmar signed for Green Gully in Victoria’s NPL this season after gaining promotion with Dandenong City last season. He got off the mark quickly for his new club – scoring his first goal in his third match against Bentleigh Greens.

Josip Skoko – This former Socceroo is now a director at Julius Meinl who – as George Donikian would tell you – are masters of coffee, tea and UTZ.  Skoko is still involved with his former club North Geelong – with the Josip Skoko cup awarded to the victors between North Geelong and Melbourne City’s NPL side.

Rutger Worm – The Dutchman gained a cult-like following among Heart supporters but unfortunately his professional career only lasted until 2015 when he retired playing for Archilles ’29 in the Netherlands. Worm was last seen playing locally in the Netherlands for RKHVV where he scored in a recent two-all draw.

Alex Terra –  The man who scored with bicycle kicks for fun and added a smiley face to his signature has barely been seen since returning to Brazil in 2015. He joined Penapolense in 2015 where he scored three goals in three games.

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Gerald Sibon – According to his twitter profile, the Dutchman is a father, husband and still kicks about as head coach of VV Heerenveen. He remains a big supporter of former club Sheffield Wednesday.

Eli Babalj – Once regarded as Australia’s next big thing, the 27-year-old is currently without a club after recently signing as an injury replacement for Brisbane Roar. The striker was one of the 14 players not handed a contract by incoming manager Robbie Fowler, who will look to hit the reset button with the club.

Aziz Behich – Behich’s career went from strength to strength after his stint at Melbourne Heart. The 28-year-old made a name for himself in Turkey with Bursaspor before signing for PSV Eindhoven. Behich has also been capped 35 times by the national team – having come a long way since his time in the A-League.

Brendan Hamill – Hamill joins Behich as one of the players to excel out of this side. He captained the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2018/19 but parted ways at the season’s conclusion. Hamill was part of the historic Asian Champions League triumph and has recorded 103 appearances for the Wanderers.

 Featured Image: Ngau Kai Yan

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