Friday, October 12, 2012
Aloisi finding his groove as Heart coach
By Guy Hand
John Aloisi has made the transition from one of the boys to Melbourne Heart coach with ease.So says former teammate Dylan Macallister, lured by ex-Central Coast clubmate Aloisi to spearhead the Heart's flying start to the A-League season.Macallister scored the winner in the Heart's 2-1 season-opening triumph over Melbourne Victory - a surprise pick-up in some quarters for a club which has looked to headline signings and youth.But Aloisi was the prime mover in bringing 30-year-old Macallister to his 10th professional club after an injury-riddled season with doomed Gold Coast United."We spoke several times on the phone. He was talking about how he wanted to play football this year, what kind of players he was after, and how he felt I could bring something to the club," Macallister said."It's a bonus for me in the fact I've known John for a while and he was also a striker."Aloisi, whose Socceroos exploits are legendary, also played with the Heart in their inaugural season.But Macallister says his switch to coach has been seamless, and he has already shown himself tactically adept and capable of wielding the whip when required."A couple of years ago when he was playing, he was just one of the boys. But I think that big step into the coaching role, he's made it with ease," Macallister said."He commands respect from the players, he's not the guy you'd want to get offside with and he's shown that."But at the same time he's very approachable. He's made it clear what he wants from us."Aloisi will aim to keep his unbeaten start to coaching life alive when the Heart host understrength Wellington - one of Macallister's former clubs - at AAMI Park on Sunday.The Phoenix are minus seven players and coach Ricki Herbert on international duty.But Aloisi said the Phoenix were not as weakened as one might believe."They're talking about having players out, but they haven't been talking about which players they've got coming in," Aloisi said."They've got (Paul) Ifill coming into the starting line-up. Vince Lia, who's been in the A-League for a number of years, and (Michael) Boxall, whose been in the (American) MLS which is a tough league."Aloisi said he would keep the same starting 11 from the Victory win.