Things are different. They truly are.

Written by contributor

Topics: Fan Blogs

Written by Alex Yianni – Foundation Melbourne Heart (City) member

Yes, I’m an inaugural member of Melbourne Heart, and no (for the last time) I did NOT support Victory in any way or form. I contemplated joining Victory when it came to deciding a team to support after I took up the game late in my life. Yes, I was 34 when I decided I liked the World Game in the lead up to the World Cup of 2010.

Fast-forward 4 years; did I think I’d had such vested emotions in such a thing as a franchised football club? Absolutely not. I was excited to start following a team at the exact same time as I started playing football myself and co-incided with my eldest playing the game. We still argue to this day as to who started first. It’s a fine line, but safe to say it was the same year together.

I still can recall the excitement of going to that very first game with my young family, and learning “Under the red and the white” song which never took off. Ironically, the first line contained a haunting look into the future.

I remember cringing slightly when I would announce to friends and family that I supported Heart. It was a funny name, but it always was mocked and a never-ending source of puns by newspapers and bloggers. It was argued constantly about it never having a geographical boundary which is one of the things I like about “City”. I have worked in the City and CBD for most of my 16 years, so I feel grounded and connected to the Heart of this state; Melbourne.

The new name, whilst just a name, gives a geographical divide in itself.

Some will dispute that the new home jersey was a result of rejection by the FFA that it would clash with the identity of Sydney FC. Others say that it’s just a replica of last years ManCity 3rd kit. Both of these might be true and accurate, but I feel that being a majority white and somewhat non-confronting sky blue inclusion is a delicate play on the City connection.

Did they #keepTheRedAndTheWhite because of that campaign, albeit as an away kit? We’ll never know, but something to ponder; maybe that campaign helped save it even if it is an away kit.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever forget those lowest of lows watching Heart not winning a single match in close to 20 matches. I certainly won’t forget the bullying I experienced from friends that were Victory supporters. Constant so-called banter that was rather infuriating would eventually fuel my affection for the Heart and hatred for the ‘other Melbourne team’.

One thing is for sure, is that City will no longer be the mocked little brother of Melbourne. City means business and has done theirs with utmost professionalism.

Everything in consideration, despite all that has changed to my Club, I can say is that even if I look at is a brand new club, I feel more connected to it than I did at the same point in 2010.

Whilst I’d preferred to have kept red and white as home kit, life in general is about compromise. You can’t please everyone but I think the overall stance of the Club and the new direction holds the balance well between the old and the new.

After all, time heals all wounds. I hope those that are existing members that are hurt right now will eventually see the change through my eyes.

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