Melbourne City are ready to tell each other the hard truths needed for success this A-League season, led by plain-talking skipper Scott Jamieson. The full-back will lead City out on Saturday night at Marvel Stadium against Melbourne Victory in a blockbuster derby to kick off their campaign.
Three semifinal losses in the last four campaigns shows how consistent the expansion side has been in recent years — yet success has been elusive. Last April, Riley McGree’s wonder scorpion kick goal sunk City as they bid to reach the grand final for the first time.
Jamieson said the memory lingered.
“We’ve turned the page but we’re keeping the book,” he told AAP. “We’d be pretty sour and stale people to have that in our minds and use it every day in terms of training and games. We’ve fronted up to it and looked at it and where we went wrong. Now it’s about looking forward.
“There will be times when we play Newcastle and we’ll use it as a point of motivation, but there’s no motivation needed this week now we’re playing Victory for points.”
Jamieson, appointed by coach Warren Joyce as the club’s new captain after Michael Jakobsen’s departure for Adelaide United, said he believed he was chosen due to his “competitive nature.”
“I’m the kind of person to say it how it is,” he said. “The best thing about our team is we have big personalities that can say it how it is. I’m just one of them. Myself and Warren, coming into our second preseason, we’ve butted heads once or twice, which is honest and good.”
He added, “If I see it that something’s not right, I’ll say it if it will benefit our team.”
Jamieson’s side come into the derby as the underdog, and in the shadows of Victory’s megastar signings Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen.
By contrast, City’s biggest signings have been Belgian defender Ritchie de Laet and next-gen Socceroo hopeful McGree.
Joyce’s side aren’t without reasons for confidence, though, with brighter preseason form and triumphs in the last two season-opening derbies.
“We know they’ve recruited well,” he said. “They’ve got the history of being the champions. They’ve got confidence. But their preseason has been up and down. I don’t think both teams will be at their best, but in terms of the battle and where the game’s won, it will be whoever starts faster.
“Whoever adapts quicker, they’ll get the three points.”