Make no mistake, this is a traditional rivalry that goes back to the pre-NSL era, and one which continues to thrive into the NPL phase. If the last two meetings at Knights Stadium between two of Victorian football’s heavyweights are any guide, then the latest instalment should be another classic. Melbourne Knights and Heidelberg United have played out 2-2 draws in the corresponding fixtures in both the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
There has been a late twist on both occasions, with Kenny Athiu scoring a second half stoppage time equalizer for the ‘Bergers in 2017, and Harry Noon repeating the dose in last year’s encounter. So, who’s to bet against such theatrics for a third season running?
The ‘Bergers finally kick-started their 2019 campaign in the Round 3 game played at the Olympic Village. Sean Ellis and Tom Cahill scored in Heidelberg’s 2-0 win, which was the team’s first maximum points of the season. Cahill will be hoping to add to this season tally in what will be his 50th senior appearance in the yellow and black colours.
The Knights camp has seen a positive response to the upheaval behind the scenes. Despite the departure of senior coach Mick Culina and the return of Tomi Uskok to Sydney, the Knights have defeated NPL leaders Avondale in the FFA Cup, backing it up with a late winner to defeat Altona Magic away from home in the last fortnight.
With both clubs making signings to bolster squad depth during the recent transfer window, it’s down to a battle of fourth versus third – with Heidelberg and the Knights desperate to keep pace with the top two in the race for the Premier’s Plate shield.
The main game kicks off at 7:45pm this Friday (June 7th) at the Knights Stadium – the Under 20s game kicks off at 5:45pm.
HUFC-TV will have a live stream of the match via the link at www.hufc.com.au/hufc-tv from 7:40pm AEST.