It’s so Kewell now that Harry is at Melbourne Victory
So after almost three months of speculation Melbourne Victory finally got around to announcing what Anthony Di Pietro described as the biggest signing in Australian sport as he confirmed the signing of Harry Kewell on a three-year deal.
The signing of Kewell means that fans of Australian football will for the first time get to see this country’s most high-profile football player playing club football but for a time there it seemed it wasn’t going to be worth the effort. All the constant to and froing and media speculation about supposed deals and counter-deals left a sour taste in many a fans’ mouth as Melbourne Victory and SydneyFC fought for Kewell’s signature (although to be fair I don’t think Sydney were actually ever in the hunt). Even this little blogger had enough at one stage when it looked like any deal to see Kewell to return to Australia had fallen through as I made the following (in hindsight) rather rash statements on twitter:
“So is Harry Kewelll not returning to the #aleague because Bernie #Mandic is basically a greedy fucker?”
“It was a perfect opportunity for #Kewell to give something back to Australian football, but greed sadly got in the way”
So now that is everything is fine and dandy and Kewell has been signed up and I’m even considering getting his name put on one of those fancy Melbourne Victory shirts it will definitely be interesting what sort of effect he will have both on and off the field. Kewell’s class on the pitch has never been questioned and with much less rigorous nature of an A-League season the threat of injury one would think would be mitigated to some extent. One does wonder though how Mehmet Durakovic is actually going to fit him into the starting XI with the likes of Marco Rojas and Isaka Cernak already signed up.
But is off the field where Kewell will probably have the most impact with his signing surely signalling an upswing in crowds both here in Melbourne and on the road. Already there are signs that he is having an effect with the Melbourne Victory membership hotline running hot since his signing and the club announced a membership cap of 18,000 people. But it will be his ability to pull in the non A-League punter that could very well set the A-League on a new and exciting course.