Heart Bringing Full Strength Squad To Gippsland

Melbourne Heart FC is set to bring a full strength squad as the team embarks on the second leg of the Westpac Community Football Festival in Gippsland.

Melbourne Heart FC is set to bring a full strength squad as the team embarks on the second leg of the Westpac Community Football Festival in Gippsland.

Qantas Socceroos Simon Colosimo, Matt Thompson and Dean Heffernan will be among the extended squad making the trip down to the Latrobe Valley as preparations for Heart-s Hyundai A-League debut build to a crescendo.

Head Coach John van ‘t Schip says the Newcastle Jets match will play an important role in his side-s development ahead of the Club-s round one clash with the Central Coast Mariners.

“We will work on all the aspects that are necessary, and there are many to consider: when we have the ball, when the opponent has the ball, how we operate in transition as well as set pieces,” he said.

“So there are a lot of things that we still have to work on and we need all the time that is possible. It-s a continual learning process that-s going to last the whole season.”

Facing the Newcastle Jets on Thursday night, the clash arrives at a pivotal time in Heart-s pre-season campaign, with Head Coach John van ‘t Schip making the final additions to his inaugural squad, while welcoming back a number of key signings into the fold.

Thompson and Heffernan, along with Michael Marrone and Gerald Sibon, returned to action against Victorian Premier League side the Oakleigh Cannons on Friday night, and will be eligible for selection during Thursday night-s contest.

Another individual poised to play a role is Brazilian attacker Alex Terra, who only recently touched down in Australia after completing his duties with Sao Paolo-based side Rio Branco.

Having scored against the likes of Palmeiras during the recently completed Campeonato Paulista, the diminutive Terra has arrived in Melbourne keen to make an impact and press his claims for a starting berth.

Van ‘t Schip said: “While we need to continue our development in many areas, of course, we still have three or four players still to come into the squad.

“Alex Terra has arrived and commenced training at the fields at La Trobe University, which is good. He looks in good shape so hopefully he can take to the park for us really soon.

“Michael Beauchamp and Josip Skoko, also still have to come in, and we have to integrate them into the team, but we will have some time still on getting the team in the right formation.”

Beauchamp and Skoko will be unavailable for Thursday-s match, arriving in Melbourne ahead of Heart-s match up with English Premier League side Everton on July 14.