Melbourne City continues its preseason campaign with a friendly against Hume City. Here's a primer on the National Premier Leagues Victoria outfit.
Name: Hume City FC
Alternative Name: Anadoluspor – the club has a strong affiliation with the local Turkish community, and this name is often used among its Turkish supporters.
Colours: Black and white striped shirt, black shorts, black socks (home).
Where do they play?
John Ilhan Memorial Reserve, aka Broadmeadows Valley Park. The ground is named after “Crazy John”, the founder of the former mobile phone retail chain who tragically passed away in 2007 at just 42 years of age. The venue can hold 5,000 spectators and includes four soccer fields, an athletics track and pavilion.
Where did they come from?
The club has a strong Turkish heritage and identity, having been formed in 1974 by several Turkish migrants in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Initially established as Holland Park Soccer Club, the team bounced around the amateur leagues in its first three decades. The club adopted its current name in 2009, the same year it settled on its current Broadmeadows home as its long-term base.
That’s cool… So who are some of their current players?
Hume City has two links to Melbourne City/Heart. Former Heart right-back Jeremy Walker landed in Broadmeadows following his release at the end of last season. Walker was Heart’s regular right-back in the 2012-13 season, but was supplanted by Jason Hoffman a year later, resulting his eventual release. Another former Heart player, Kliment Taseski, also plies his trade with Hume. Taseski never broke through with Heart, making just four substitute appearances in the 2010-11 season.
Elsewhere, Hume has a number of current and former Melbourne Victory (boo!) players on its books, the most notable of which is probably Petar Franjic. The centre-back played 31 times for the A-League side before being released at the end of the 2012-13 season. Hume also has three current Victory players on loan – Anthony Proia, Chris Cristaldo and Johnny Buceto.
The club mainly relies on star striker Richie Cardozo for goals. The left-footer has been a little unlucky in his quest to crack the A-League, but games like this could serve as something of an audition for any potential transfer.
And how are they doing in the National Premier Leagues?
Not bad! The team currently sits fifth, having played 22 games. Hume has had a fairly inconsistent season, however, having won 11 games, lost 10 and played out a league-low one draw.
So what can we expect in the Melbourne City friendly?
Well, if the FFA Cup is any guide, National Premier Leagues teams and other semi-professional sides tend to lift when facing A-League opposition. Hume also has several Melbourne Victory players in its squad, and they’d surely like nothing more than putting in a good performance against City.
As for City, the FFA Cup loss against Sydney FC last week proved that the transformation from Heart to City is very much a work in progress. As such, these preseason games are vital as the side looks to develop a new, hopefully winning, attitude and identity.
International marquee Robert Koren could make his debut, while other new recruits including Damien Duff and Aaron Mooy will continue to build understanding and cohesion with their new teammates.
Does winning matter?
Pundits like to debate whether preseason results are important, and whether they send accurate signals pertaining to a team’s forecast once competitive fixtures get underway. In City’s case, it might be best to build a winning attitude. Melbourne Heart went winless in its warm-up games last year, and it was not until January that the side picked up its first victory in the A-League, several weeks after former boss John Aloisi was sacked.
Whether or not you think wins and losses are important in preseason friendlies, good performances certainly matter, and John van ‘t Schip will be hoping for a better showing this time around, starting with the match against Hume.
HAVE YOUR SAY: Do results in preseason friendlies matter? What are you expecting from the Hume City match?
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