Melbourne Heart FC General Manager of Football Operations John Didulica believes organisation will be critical to ensuring the club’s targeted foreign stars are able to adapt to the Australian way of life.
Melbourne Heart FC General Manager of Football Operations John Didulica believes organisation will be critical to ensuring the club-s targeted foreign stars are able to adapt to the Australian way of life.
The club has keenly scouted the overseas market to unearth potential stars, with Head Coach John van ‘t Schip recently venturing to Europe over the Northern winter to assess available talent.
That first scouting trip allowed the club to net the signing of former Dutch youth international Rutger Worm, who is set to play a pivotal role in Heart-s inaugural Hyundai A-League campaign.
And with van ‘t Schip now ensconced in South America, the international quotient at Heart is on track to grow further, with the ex-Dutch national assistant coach surveying domestic leagues across the Latin continent.
Didulica believes procuring foreign talent capable of adapting to the nuances of the Australian game and culture will play a large role in ensuring Heart is able to field a competitive side capable of playing an exciting brand of football.
“We will look to have three, four or even five foreign players so we will be bringing guys in from all over the world and expecting them to be aligned with Australian cultural norms,” he said.
“I think probably the key thing to helping the foreign players make a smooth transition will be organisation, and ensuring as a club, we are equipped to be organised and provide a stable internal structure.
“It-s important about having a series of key operational systems in place and not giving the players any reason to walk away from what their responsibilities are.”
While building a tangible in-club culture from scratch is a unique task, Didulica has received advice from various sporting institutions around the state, including the all-conquering Geelong AFL team.
Didulica said his time observing the various practices observed within the AFL club provided a valuable insight into developing a productive and dynamic in-team atmosphere.
“I-m lucky enough to have been born in Geelong and spent most of my formative years in the area so I was fortunate enough to spend some time at the Geelong footy club,” he said.
“I spent some time with Brendan McCartney who is the assistant coach there and also a high school teacher of mine and Steven Hocking who were really giving of their time.
“The experience was really great and allowed me to assess what are the key things to get right in order to build a well run football department.”
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