Heart Syndicate Driven By Youth

Melbourne Heart Syndicate Football Manager John Didulica has reiterated the club’s commitment to youth development by stating the importance of recruiting a number of rising stars for its inaugural Hyundai A-League squad.

Melbourne Heart Syndicate Football Manager John Didulica has reiterated the club-s commitment to youth development by stating the importance of recruiting a number of rising stars for its inaugural Hyundai A-League squad.

The former FFA legal advisor believes a strong youth policy will play an essential role in Heart Syndicate-s plan to secure long term on-field success and compete with the giants of the league.

Didulica said the Hyundai A-League newcomers hope to sign a core of key experienced stars, before surrounding them with a host of Australia-s most promising young footballers.

“There are good young players around the country and we have spent a significant amount of time not only watching A-League games but also going to as many National Youth League games as possible,” he told radio station SEN.

“We have watched a lot of the youth teams closely including the AIS as we are really backing ourselves in with the coaching staff we have assembled to accelerate those players development.”

An obvious sign of the Heart Syndicate-s dedication to developing youth was the appointment of former Young Socceroo assistant coach Ante Milicic and former Manchester United star Jesper Olsen as assistants to head coach John van ‘t Schip.

Both Milicic and Olsen boast experience developing and identifying promising footballers, and Didulica said he is confident the duo will be up to the task.

“Ante is coming off a stint with the Young Socceroos as assistant coach as the Youth World Cup in Egypt, so he knows the ‘under 20- landscape better than anybody else in Australia so to have him is really exciting,” he said.

“And to top it off, we have Jesper Olsen. He-s a coach we think will add a lot and intuitively can relate to John van ‘t Schip as they have the same philosophy on football.

“We really think the young players who come into our system will be given every opportunity to accelerate as well as anywhere else in the country, and I feel we have the best couple of people to provide that sharp acceleration to compete with the established clubs.”

The Heart Syndicate has already been active in the transfer market, signing Qantas Socceroos Matt Thompson, Dean Heffernan and Kristian Sarkies, with more players poised to be confirmed in the near future.

And Didulica said the Heart Syndicate will continue to target players of similar quality, stating the club isn-t in a position to recruit recycled footballers who have previously struggled at Hyundai A-League level.

“We can-t afford to come in and recirculate talent or become a home for journeymen,” he said. “We really need to establish a clear identity, a point of difference and hopefully we can get those eight or nine highly quality senior players and surround them with as much young quality as we can.”