REACTION: JvS says Paartalu signing will create competition


Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip believes the signing of midfielder Erik Paartalu will create further competition in the squad’s ranks.

Erik Paartalu’s unveiling at Melbourne City FC on Monday may have added further quality to John van’t Schip’s side, but the Head Coach will now be required to juggle his squad’s depth, with a wealth of options in midfield.

Always the optimist, van’t Schip sees the challenge of fitting Paartalu into an already talented midfield – which boasts players such as Aaron Mooy, international marquee Robert Koren and the consistent Massimo Murdocca – as a positive one.

“It’s a great signing and happy to announce he is now with us,” van’t Schip told the media on Monday.

“Erik is going to be a big part in the way we want to play. He knows [our] playing style, he knows the league and I’m sure he will fit in very well with the team.

“Knowing Erik’s qualities, knowing the way he plays and the way he was playing at Brisbane [Roar] made us go hard for him and that was the main reason.

While potentially creating difficult selection decisions, van’t Schip sees the introduction of another midfielder to the squad as one which will breed healthy competition in the playing group.

“We’re not going to fit them all in; it’s a competition and that’s what it’s all about,” van’t Schip said.

“We have to get to another level, to make the next step. So from that perspective bringing in Erik we know that there is going to be competition across every level of the pitch.

“You always have to work for it. There is no guarantee for any player; everybody knows that they have to work hard and perform. That’s why they [the players] are professional.”

While Erik is the Club’s 22nd signing of the off-season, van’t Schip hinted that there is scope to add a further player to add to his squad.

“We have had a few games we know more or less how players are playing and how they fit,” van’t Schip.

“Right now we still have a spot left and we will take our time with that. When the time is there, hopefully we will come up with another name. In the meantime we are more than happy and pleased with the players we have.

“There is still a lot of work to be done and we need to make sure over the next four to five weeks we are ready for when the A-League starts.”