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Melbourne Victory's Merrick impressed with crosstown rival Heart

Melbourne Victory head coach Ernie Merrick admitted he was impressed after watching new rival Melbourne Heart take on Everton on Wednesday night. Despite the 2-0 scoreline in favour of the English Premier League club, Merrick thought the new franchise had put together a good squad but did remain focused on his own team who are set to take on Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors at Etihad Stadium tonight.

"I thought the Heart have put together a good side and I thought they played well against Everton," Merrick said.

"Obviously they are not at full strength and I think they will be very competitive this year but I have to say our focus is on our team and our preparation for the Sydney match on the 7th of August."

At yesterday's press conference to officially launch the Boca match, there was plenty of talk regarding the fact a South American team had made its way out to Australia and Merrick said it was a goal of the Victory's to do more travelling as a club.

"We'd certainly like to go to South America. We've been to Asia a couple of times and we'd like to go to Europe as well," he added.

Boca boss Claudio Borghi added further that football in Australia would improve even more if they could somehoe bridge the gap between it and rival codes.

"The biggest problem Australia has is it (football) is not the number one. The tournaments (seasons) are very short. Most of the Australian players go and play overseas," Borghi said.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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