Melbourne City to battle Ballarat Red Devils in soccer friendly

MELBOURNE City will kick off its A-League pre-season campaign against Ballarat Red Devils at Morshead Park next Wednesday night.

Melbourne City coach John van't Schip will bring his A-League squad to Ballarat for a pre-season hit-out against Ballarat Red Devils next week. GETTY IMAGE

Melbourne City coach John van't Schip will bring his A-League squad to Ballarat for a pre-season hit-out against Ballarat Red Devils next week. GETTY IMAGE

The newly rebranded City, formerly Melbourne Heart, unveiled the friendly on Tuesday morning.

John van't Schip's squad will arrive at the Red Devils' home base for a 7pm start, keen to play at the facility that will host the Bahrain national team for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

City started pre-season training officially last week but their match with Ballarat's National Premier Leagues Victoria team will be City's first open on-field hit-out.

The Red Devils are midway through their inaugural NPLV campaign.

City recruits James Brown, Connor Chapman, Jacob Melling and Aaron Mooy joined City last week and the club has indicated they are a chance to debut in Ballarat.

New signing Damien Duff, who was announced last week, will not take part in the match and will join his teammates in July.

“We have had a positive start to pre-season and this match will give us an indication of where we are at after the first couple of weeks,” van’t Schip said.

“We are building an exciting squad, but it’s important for the players to first build match fitness, and for us to integrate our new squad members into the style of football we want to play.”

Ballarat Red Devils chairman Duncan Smith said the passionate Ballarat football community was excited about the prospect of Melbourne City visiting the region.

“This is what we wanted when we first talked about building a football stadium in Ballarat; the opportunity to bring matches like this to the region,” Smith said.

“We hope this will be the first of many clubs and teams that come to Ballarat to train and play on what I believe is the best stadium in regional Victoria.

“We are now starting to build up the awareness that Ballarat is a very good option for teams to come to, now that we have a fantastic stadium and a Red Devils team in the NPL.”

The Red Devils last visit from the A-League franchise was in April 2011 for an exhibition game at Eureka Stadium.

DETAILS

Ballarat Red Devils v Melbourne City

at Morshead Park

Wednesday, June 25 from 7pm

Kick-Off: 7pm

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