Hume City's Cisse bid fails
An audacious last minute attempt to lure former Liverpool star and Champions League winner Djibril Cisse out of a recent retirement drowned in red tape.
Coach Lou Acevski said a lack of time and a mountain of local and international paperwork conspired against the Victorian NPL side and their attempts to bring in a big box office name for their AAMI Park clash.
“We’ve been speaking to four or five different players, the last player that we tried to get in contact with was Djibril Cisse the French international,” Acevski said.
“But unfortunately time didn’t allow us to continue communication to try and get a deal over the line. It was only four days out before the game against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.
“(Cisse) did retire officially from his club earlier this week. We thought he was probably the best option that we had, because he’d just recently finished playing football, that’s why we went down that path.”
Hume City, the only non A-League side left in the FFA Cup, were attempting to emulate fellow Victorian NPL club, Heidelberg United, who had great success off the field when they brought in Greek national team captain Kostas Katsouranis for a guest appearance in the quarter-final.
Olympic Village was bursting at the seams that night when 11,372 fans – the second largest crowd in the competition’s history – came to see the 2004 European Champion winner take on Melbourne City.
Hume's attempts to bring in Katsouranis’s former Greek international teammate, Giorgos Karagounis, and French International David Trezeguet were also unsuccessful.
“Karagounis going by all reports through our contact was very interested,” Acevski said.
“We didn’t take that step forward with Karagounis because he has been retired for 12 months. He plays in midfield and he’s got a lot more running and harder work than a striker who plays upfront. That led to us trying to try get a striker to play his part for our team.
“That’s why we did try and go hard with David Trezeguet. He emailed back only mid-week and said that it was going to be very difficult to come to Australia due to his Juventus commitments. He is still committed to his old club through their veteran’s team where they play in different countries in exhibition games.”
Hume City are long odds to cause an upset against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday night. In just the second year of the FFA Cup no NPL side has defeated an A-League club.
Acevski denied Hume City’s attempts to bring in a guest player had an adverse effect on the club leading up to Wednesday night‘s game.
He added: “I don’t think there has been any negative response to it at all – not from the club’s perspective and the players themselves have been very open to it. Who doesn’t want to play with the best players in the world?
“Yes there has been a lot of publicity about it but the only negative aspect of it is the fact that we didn’t end up getting someone on board quick enough.
“This is our first visit at this level with players of that nature or that stature. We’ve learnt a valuable lesson with how and what to do for next time and hopefully there is a next time for us.”