Sport

Home is where the Heart is for Murdocca

GOOD SHAPE: Massimo Murdocca controls the ball for the Heart during the side’s last clash with the Wanderers in round five this season.
GOOD SHAPE: Massimo Murdocca controls the ball for the Heart during the side’s last clash with the Wanderers in round five this season.

MASSIMO Murdocca has no regrets about moving to cellar dweller Melbourne Heart from top-of-the-table Brisbane Roar.

Just as importantly, he feels like he's in the best shape of his career.

Despite the Heart's struggles this season - they are yet to win a game - Murdocca was full of positives about the move back to his home town.

"I feel like I'm in the best shape of my career. I'm at the same level of fitness as the year before I broke my leg in 2009," he told APN.

"I'm playing with no pain now, and I'm really enjoying my leadership role at the Heart.

"At the Roar, we had leaders all over the park, but I've got more responsibility down here."

And in more good news for Heart fans crying out for that elusive first victory, Murdocca said he was confident it would come in tonight's away clash against second-placed Western Sydney. The Heart lost to the Wanderers 1-0 in round five.

"We played quite well that game, so it was disappointing to let in a goal. We need to come out hard in the first 10 minutes, and I'm confident we can do that after our second half last week," he said.

The midfielder, who made his debut as a 15-year-old in the old NSL competition for Carlton in 1999, has been around professional football circles for 14 years.

He had one more season on his contract at the Roar, but said he hoped playing in Melbourne would help take his game to another level.

Murdocca said he wasn't surprised at fellow midfielder Andrea Migliorini's two glorious strikes against Adelaide United last Sunday, which saw the Heart come back from a 2-0 half-time deficit and draw the match 3-all.

"From the first game of our pre-season he looked like a great player and I was actually surprised it took him as long as it did to play a game like that," said Murdocca, who set up both of Migliorini's goals.

Murdocca also said under-fire Heart coach John Aloisi has handled some widespread criticism, much of it from his own fans, with class.

"He's been a bit like Ange Postecoglou, in the way that he hasn't swayed from his beliefs and tactics," he said.

GAME DAY

WANDERERS V HEART

At Pirtek Stadium,

4.30pm (AEST)

Also: Mariners v Sky Blues, 6.45pm (AEST).

Topics:  a-league, brisbane roar



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