Football's new frontier

With a brand new team playing in a brand new stadium, Thursday August 5 2010 will go down as a an historic moment in the development of the Hyundai A-League.

With a brand new team playing in a brand new stadium, Thursday August 5 2010 will go down as a an historic moment in the development of the Hyundai A-League.

At the same moment the league's first-ever second major city team, the Melbourne Heart, will be born, football in Melbourne will officially enter its new home at AAMI Park. For Melbourne boy and Heart skipper Simon Colosimo, it is a special day for the sport.

"We know that this stadium is going to be great for us, with the support being so close and being in Melbourne," he said. "The atmosphere in here is great. I've seen the Storm here a couple of times and the atmosphere in here is fantastic."

"Anyone who comes, as long as we entertain out there, it's going to be a great night."

Colosimo, who has returned to his home town after nine years, said AAMI Park was the perfect venue for the perfect sporting city.

"It-s the sporting capital. I think it-s wonderful. You get a real buzz driving down Olympic Boulevard. You've got it all here. I think this is the right place to have another A-League club."

Colosimo, who doubles as PFA president, believes the quality of the facilities and the pitch at AAMI Park is equal to any other in Australia.

"The surface is top notch. I can already say now that the PFA do a pitch rating system and I think AAMI Park will come first, I can say that now. I'm not being biased, it really is brilliant."

With an ideal home ground, the pressure is on Heart to produce performances to match in its debut season. Colosimo feels that the quality of the squad and the level of preparation puts the club in the strongest possible position to achieve success.

"We're well ahead of where any other club was first year of the A-League, when the A-league was formed," he said. "The standard of the training is equal to what I experienced at Sydney and they won the title last season."

For coach John van 't Schip, who has experienced most things in football in his time as an international and club footballer in the Netherlands, the feeling of anticipation is growing.

"I am anxious, excited. It's what I need before the game. There's tension in the group and in the staff as well after working so hard together," he said. "We are more than ready to play."