Behich staying with Heart

Melbourne youngster Aziz Behich has been rewarded for his strong start to the Hyundai A-League season with a new full-time contract at the Heart.

Melbourne youngster Aziz Behich has been rewarded for his strong start to the Hyundai A-League season with a new full-time contract at the Heart.

The 19-year-old originally joined the Heart as a short-term replacement, but he impressed the club with his versatility and tenacity and was rewarded with a deal until the end of the 2011/12 season.

Coach John van 't Schip said Behich is a valuable asset to his squad and hopes he will continue to improve over the coming seasons.

"Aziz has done well since he joined the group in pre-season, and has been prepared to play wherever the team needed him. Every week he has been taking steps forward," he said.

"It is a great reward for the effort that he is put in that he now has a longer term contract. We have no doubt he will continue to work hard and become more and more important to the group."

Behich's status as a replacement player for the injured Kristian Sarkies will be taken by another local starlet, VPL Under-21 Player of the Year and Melbourne Knights product Adrian Zahra.