Concurrent competitions proving challenging for City

Hume City's Hayden Tennant. (Shawn Smits). 204646_16

Michaela Meade

Hume City has a lot of improvement still to come in the National Premier League.

Coach Nick Hegarty said the team, currently sitting sixth on the ladder, has had an “okay start”.

“We’ve basically been winning when we’re at home, but losing when we’re away,” he said.

“It’s been a challenge in terms of coming back after a long period off.”

The NPL season was halted last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns.

Hume had been five rounds into its season, undefeated, before it was shut down.

Hegarty said the lockdowns and lack of training and games has negatively impacted the player performance.

“Obviously when you have [so much time] off, people find new hobbies, things become more important than others,” Hegarty said.

“As a coach, you want to align people… you want to rejuvenate the team.

“The team is a young, ambitious group… they have just got to put the hard work in.”

Hegarty said as a “big believer in making your own luck”, he thinks the team will improve a lot throughout the course of the season.

“We’ll find our way eventually,” he said.

“We’ve had two wins back-to-back, for the first time in the season.

“The objective now is to try and get three [consecutive wins].”

Hume City are playing the FFA Cup concurrently with the regular NPL season.

Last week, City were celebrating two big wins, 6-0 against St Albans in the NPL, and 3-0 against Frankston Pines in the FFA Cup.

Hegarty said balancing the two competitions is a difficult task.

“Being able to play midweek and weekends becomes a challenge,” he said.

“Our goal is to play the big games at the end of [each] season.

“We’re two games away from… the national stage [for the FFA Cup].

“Regardless of who we play, we do our best.”

Hegarty said 17-year-old Kaan Elibol is one of the standout players.

Elibol made history last week as the youngest ever scorer for the senior side at the club.

“The whole day was great,” Hegarty said.

“He only got 30 minutes on the field, so to get a goal was great.

“With what he’s been doing on the juniors, he deserved [the record].”

Hume City faced South Melbourne on Saturday, losing 2-0.