Van ‘t Schip Excited To Commence Training

As a former European Champion, UEFA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup victor, Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip arrived in Australia possessing a decorated football resume.

As a former European Champion, UEFA Cup and Cup Winners- Cup victor, Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip arrived in Australia possessing a decorated football resume.

For the past six months however, van ‘t Schip, has found his role away from the pitch, confined to one akin to a spruiker, jetting around Australia and the globe in a bid to attract the best available talent to the nation-s burgeoning football competition.

Heading to thriving global footballing hubs such as Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Rio de Janeiro, van ‘t Schip has been on the prowl, navigating his way through the various league frameworks to undercover talent capable of making the transition down under.

But following months of groundwork, van ‘t Schip is finally in his element, preparing his troops for battle at La Trobe University-s training fields at Bundoora, as he exclusively tells melbourneheartfc.com.au.

After spending months focused solely on recruiting, is it a relief to finally be on the pitch coaching again?

Of course. One of the things I like about the job is being on the pitch with the players. It-s the main reason why I became a coach and it-s a good feeling again. The last time I was coaching was in October with Ajax so it has been good.

Having been with the club now for six months, has it been satisfying to witness how the entire operation has evolved?

Very much so. If you see how we started in October with first Scott, John and then I came and you see now all the people involved and I-m not even talking about the players, who have just arrived this week, but seeing the office growing, all the people busy working in areas of administration, it-s already a very lively club.

What do you hope to achieve at training with the players currently at your disposal?

Well, it-s a good opportunity to learn the players better as a person and as a football player. It-s also a good opportunity to see some players from the Victorian Premier League. I think it-s very good to have that bond with those players as well as the clubs who are playing in that competition. So for many reasons it-s good that we can already start and of course in the training itself I will try to put some standards from where we can work from in June when we have the complete group.

Wayne Srhoj is the club-s tenth signing. How does he fit in the bigger picture?

Wayne is of course a very experienced player who has also played abroad in Romania and with the Australian youth team. He-s a very talented player and I think he can have a big value for how we want to play and could be very important in his role. Everything depends of course if he can stay fit, doesn-t get injured and if we as a team can grow, but I see a very important role for Wayne.

Do you think the club-s environment can help Wayne take the next step and hopefully challenge for Qantas Socceroo selection?

I think a player like him with his qualities has to give himself the chance to play in the Qantas Socceroos. If we can help him getting to a higher level, we surely will and hopefully that will result in selection, but first of course he has to apply himself with our club, make sure he-s playing well, training well, and I believe that should result, given his qualities, in selection for the national team.

What areas of the park will be the priority now in this next phase of player recruitment?

We need players at the back and up front. I think in the midfield it-s quite well done. Of course, we keep on looking and if we can still become stronger in every part of our team we will, but we are concentrating on up front and in the back we are still looking. We also still need a second goalkeeper next to Clint Bolton so there are a few important decisions to make in the coming weeks.

You recently returned from a scouting trip to South America. Have you identified any key targets of interest which the club hopes to pursue?

I have identified a few players, but then the other point is getting them here. We are having some talks with the people over there and of course they are possibilities that we have to see also with players we have seen in Europe and here in Australia also. So hopefully we can sign three or four players from overseas.

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