Kewell not for Heart
Harry Kewell might be in Melbourne, he might also be good mates with John Aloisi but that doesn't make him a good fit for Melbourne Heart.
It makes little sense for Melbourne Heart to sign Harry Kewell.
With the player in Melbourne for the Spring Racing Carnival to fulfill sponsorship commitments, Melbourne Heart, Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC have all been linked with capturing the former Melbourne Victory star.
From Heart-s point of view, the lure is understandable, particularly given the potential to increase match day crowds at AAMI Park and generate a spike in membership figures, which currently hover around the 5,300 mark.
There-s also that bit of temptation to ruffle a few feathers over at his former employer, where he quit at the end of last season due to family reasons.
But when you really think about it, signing a 34-year-old who-s bereft of a pre-season, hasn-t played a competitive match since June and may not be match-fit for at least four-to-five weeks after putting pen to paper, the situation is not only far from ideal, it seems a little desperate.
And for a club that seems intent on building for the long-term, such a move has short-sightedness written all over it.
It would also make a mockery of the club-s stance on fostering youth.
Since the club-s inception, it has been the bedrock of its identity — the single biggest point of difference between itself and Victory.
Two fruitful years of development has seen the likes of Eli Babalj, Curtis Good and Brendan Hamill blossom through the ranks and snapped up by overseas clubs. Even marauding winger Craig Goodwin was poached by the Jets at the end of last season after bursting onto the A-League scene.
The loss of those promising youngsters at roughly the same time meant Heart needed to inject some experience in order to remain competitive while younger products are brought up to speed.
Reinforcements such as Dylan Macallister in attack plus Richard Garcia (and soon Vince Grella) in midfield achieve that. Conversely, adding Kewell to the mix could potentially hinder, rather than nurture, the development of the likes of a Ben Garuccio.
After all, it was only last season when Heart CEO Scott Munn declared the club-s intent to produce the next Harry Kewell as opposed to signing the player himself.
“It-s not our style [signing a player like Harry Kewell]. For us it-s just about being a club that is built on some pretty strong basics,” he was quoted as saying.
“No single player is bigger than the club and that-s our focus… Victory has taken a different pathway, but our goal is to uncover the next Harry Kewell, and, hopefully the next Harry Kewell from the northern suburbs.
“Our direction is to bring young talent through.”
You won-t find many arguments disputing what a fit Harry Kewell can offer. Anyone who still tuned into Victory games at the tail-end of last season would be aware of what he can produce.
If Kewell is to be lured back to the A-League, it makes more sense for him to return home to Sydney where it all started as opposed to a club trying to launch the careers of others.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not FFA or the Hyundai A-League