In game date: 2 May 2002
Last time I wrote my Melbourne Heart team started the season with promise only to succumb to a sobering defeat in our fourth game against Wanderers FC . In 2021/22 although we made modest improvements on last season we struggled for consistency with many wins followed by a loss or draw. I’ve never managed such an inconsistent team despite always favouring inexperienced talent so the jury’s out as to our problem. Admittedly, during the first few months of the 2021/22 season, I regularly changed my team/ player instructions so this could explain why we made an inauspicious start but it can’t explain why it continued until the last day.
Every time I thought things might be coming together we lost and I have no idea why. We must have beaten and been beaten by every team in the league so we know we’re capable of doing better. Do we underestimate teams? Do we suffer from overconfidence? Are my team talks too generous in praise? Who knows?
Anyway, as you can see from our results, we made it beyond the Hyundai A-League Regular Season fixtures in to the Hyundai Finals where we were knocked out by one of the two best clubs in the league, Wellington Phoenix (Central Coast Mariners being the other).
We went 0-3 down in the Phoenix game which, as you can imagine, was disheartening but we did have a late flurry by way of a brace from 19-year-old South Korea Cho Chul-Woong.
I told you guys how talented CCW was in my last career update article ‘Pentagon Challenge update – a new journey in Australia with Melbourne Heart’ and he keeps on improving; he was one of our best players this season. His value is rising steadily too 🙂
Ideally I would’ve liked a top-three finish and a place in the Hyundai Finals final but I’m content in the knowledge we have a growing batch of highly talented teenagers who certainly have the ability to bring silverware to AAMI Park.
As you can imagine our season of ups and downs was very frustrating for me and I’ve considered leaving to manage a club in a league where I can sign as many foreigners as possible as the A-League’s five-foreign-player rule is still very restrictive for us. I only have to think back to my lengthy Genoa save though where I won every trophy available after years of hard work and squad development to remember good things come to those who wait!