A Message From JvS

The last two years have been quite a journey.

The last two years have been quite a journey.

Arriving in Australia from the Netherlands, faced with the task of helping to build a football club from the ground up, was a challenge I couldn-t resist.

While I had always hoped to coach abroad, and experience a fresh culture, the most exciting aspect of my move to Australia was the nature of Melbourne Heart-s project.

It certainly isn-t an opportunity which becomes available often, and was one I grasped upon.

Although our first season didn-t necessarily yield the results we desired, there was still a real sense of accomplishment surrounding what we had achieved.

Winning the first derby was clearly one of the highlights, a night which saw us make history. While there may always be another week, another 90 minutes to be won, there will never be another inaugural Melbourne Derby.

However, despite what our achievements, we knew there was still more to come. This season has seen us take another step forward.

The aim of finals football has duly been achieved. As has the successful promotion and development of youth, with Aziz Behich, Eli Babalj, Curtis Good, Brendan Hamill, Jason Hoffman, Mate Dugandzic and Craig Goodwin all winning international selection at age level.

While we have had our ups and downs throughout this journey, the support we have received from the wider Melbourne Heart community gave us the extra motivation needed each week.

I was overwhelmed by the reception of the Yarraside last week, and extremely grateful for their contribution. The relationship the players and I have developed with our most devoted fans is very unique, which is why we look to acknowledge their contribution every week.

The banners and gifts I received following our match with Sydney FC will remain with me as a symbol of my time here in Australia, a reminder of the friends we have made and will be forced to leave behind.

We are all disappointed by how our season came to an end, as we didn-t play the football we all know the team is capable of.

But rest assured, our future is bright, and I will look on with keen interest from abroad as Melbourne Heart FC continues its journey.