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When Melbourne meets Melbourne:

Motherpedia invites you to take a closer look at football (soccer) with free tickets to Melbourne Heart home games in January
By Bonita Mersiades
Date: December 21 2011
Editor Rating:

Manchester United v Manchester City. Everton v Liverpool. AC Milan v Inter. Catania v Palermo. Rangers v Celtic.

In football (soccer), cross-town derbies are the stuff from which legends have been made. And in Australia’s A-League, Melbourne Heart v Melbourne Victory are slowly but surely building a legend of their own.

While Melbourne Victory – the blue team - was a foundation club of the A-League in 2005, Melbourne Heart – the red team – only joined last season. 

There have been just four derbies so far with Friday night’s clash at AAMI Park in Melbourne set to be one of the most anticipated match-ups in the A-League season so far. 

Both teams are sitting in the top 6, both are in winning form, and there is already a 'sold out' sign at their shared home ground of AAMI Park.  Both teams also have talent to burn – such as Simon Colosimo, Clint Bolton, Fred, Archie Thompson, Carlos Hernandez and Socceroo favourite, Harry Kewell.

Many believe there should have been two teams in Melbourne from the get-go of the A-League. 

CEO of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Brendan Schwab, believes it was a “fundamental flaw” to follow the one town, one team strategy when the A-League was established seven years ago.

“We undermined the game’s ability to tap the market properly,” Schwab says.

“For example, Sydney is not a one team market.  It’s geographically spread, it’s culturally diverse and there is a genuine difference from east to west and north to south.  This mistake was exacerbated by putting Sydney FC in a stadium which not only doesn’t provide the right economic return but also doesn’t create the atmosphere that is a key part of the experience.

“We thought exactly the same about Melbourne.  It’s not geographically polarised like Sydney but two teams from the outset would have been a great opportunity for both teams to share a venue and for there to be at least one game in Melbourne every week – in a market that enjoys sport as entertainment.

“The derbies so far between Melbourne Heart and Melbourne Victory prove this and we anticipate these matches will just get bigger and bigger as the years go by.”

Just like in Manchester, Liverpool, Milan, Sicily and Glasgow?


Schwab’s thoughts of a cross-town rivalry that just grows and grows is echoed by players and officials from both sides.

In an interview earlier this week Melbourne Victory captain, Adrian Leijer, said the fact that Melbourne is talking about whether they ‘like’ Victory or ‘like’ Heart is what football is all about.

“The cross-town rivalry is a special one,” he told AAP.  “It’s what the game should be and for the game to evolve, we need it.”

Melbourne Heart Chairman, Peter Sidwell, told News Limited that “We totally respect Melbourne Victory and what they’ve done, but the future is red and white in this town.”

With the honours even from the four derbies so far at one win apiece and two draws, Friday night’s clash could bring early Christmas cheer either to the blue side of town or the red side.

But regardless of the result, the Melbourne v Melbourne rivalry will grow and become a ‘must see’ event on the sporting calendar - even for those who are not yet ‘in’ to football.


Take a look for yourself! has two tickets to Melbourne Heart’s four home games in January valued at $50 per match.  Just e-mail us by the date below at for a chance to win and which match you’d prefer.  Kids are just $5. All matches are at AAMI Park:

·          4 January, 3.15pm v Adelaide United (27 December)

·         15 January, 4.00pm v Perth Glory (3 January)

·         18 January, 7.30pm v Central Coast Mariners (6 January)

·         21 January, 7.45pm v Brisbane Roar (10 January)

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Liz says: 2011 12 21

Have been to Melbourne Heart & Melbourne Victory matches with my sons & their friends.  I know nothing about soccer (sorry football) but loved the experience of both. Fantastic and the men are very cute.

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