Melbourne Heart defender Michael Beauchamp is really looking forward to the first season with the brand new A-League club. The 29-year old centre-half, who is fresh from international duty with the Australian team at the World Cup, was unveiled to media today at Melbourne's AAMI Park and was extremely optimistic about the upcoming period with 11th club in Australia's top flight.
"I had my first session today which was pretty intense so I'm really looking forward to it," Beauchamp told reporters.
"I feel pretty good. I had a couple of weeks off there (after the World Cup). I spoke to the coach (John van 't Schip) who gave me a few extra weeks off to sort of get over everything and I'm feeling very fit."
It is not the first time the Sydney native has played in the A-League after his stint with the Central Coast Mariners in between 2005 (inception year) and 2007 so he understands what it takes to bring new players together to achieve success.
"Definitely. I was a part of it up at the (Central Coast) Mariners and there is a lot of excitement around it with the local fans and that's what we are hoping to do here as well. It's a good set up here and we are really hoping to get a lot of support behind us throughout the season," he added.
"There are a lot of boys coming from different areas, a lot of young players coming through as well so it's going to be interesting but there is a great bunch of boys here, I can already see it. I've played with most of them before so I'm sure it's not going to take long at all."
With a defence consisting of former Sydney FC championship-winners Simon Colosimo and Clint Bolton, ex-Mariners star Dean Heffernan and himself, Beauchamp was eyeing a strong defensive performance from the Heart in 2010/11 but was well aware that the entire team would have to grow together to achieve positive results.
"The first line of defence is the strikers so if we can work together as a team it will definitely help us. We've got a lot of experience as a team and like I said a lot of young players coming through so it's a good mixture of players and it's going to take a few games to get used to everyone and sort of get that gelling happening but I'm sure it will be a great season for the Heart," he added further.
Beauchamp was a key player in the Socceroos' final group stage match - a 2-1 win over Serbia - and admitted it was a special experience.
"I was very happy to get that last game. I wasn't too sure even if (Craig Moore) Moorey hadn't have gotten suspended there but I was entrusted through Pim (Verbeek) and I felt I did alright there and it was something I will never forget."
And as for the standard of the A-League improving doubled with the imminent rivalry between the two Melbourne clubs - the Heart and the Victory - Beauchamp was very excited about what he is now involved in.
"From what I can see it definitely has. You still have that rivalry there between the big teams and each week there is a big game but it's going to be interesting this season with a new team and next season the same again (with the introduction of Sydney Rovers) so I'm definitely looking forward," he said.
"I think it's great," he said of the Melbourne derbies. "There is a lot of AFL and other footy here but Melbourne people love their sport so hopefully they will come out to those matches and get behind it because that's what Australian football is all about, those rivalries there but every match this season is going to be big for us, we want to do big things."