Heart On Track: Van 't Schip

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip believes his side is on track after rounding off its preparations for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season with a 9-1 victory over the Loddon Mallee Lightning at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve.

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip believes his side is on track after rounding off its preparations for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season with a 9-1 victory over the Loddon Mallee Lightning at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve.

Brazilian import Alex Terra and former Young Socceroo Jason Hoffman each bagged a hat trick as Heart secured victory in front of nearly 1,000 Bendigo locals to mark the close of the 2010 Westpac Community Football Festival.

Aziz Behich continued his impressive run of form with a sparkling display on the left flank, scoring twice early in the first half.

With the side now less than two weeks away from making its Hyundai A-League debut, van ‘t Schip said he was positive about the display.

“I-m very happy with the performance. The big difference from the Everton game was obviously the opponent. It was a different kind of opponent now, we had to do it much more on our own and that is what we did,” he said.

“We played at a high tempo and were very aggressive when we lost the ball to get it back as soon as possible, created a lot of chances and scored a lot of goals.

“In these games it-s important not to lose your concentration, and I think we kept on playing well, even if we did make a lot of changes in the second half, with a lot of players who have never played together. But the level stayed quite high, so overall I think it was a good session.”

Among the many challenges facing van ‘t Schip as he prepares his side for its competition debut is to efficiently develop his attacking philosophy.

While van ‘t Schip acknowledges the learning process is likely to continue for the duration of Heart-s inaugural season, he is confident the playing group is beginning to adapt.

“At this point in our development, I-m not talking about opponents. I didn-t talk much about Everton, and I didn-t talk much about the Lightning. We are talking about our performance, about what we have to do, and you can see the team is learning and adjusting to our philosophy,” he said.

“They are talking among themselves more about it, and that is a good sign. They are starting to understand what we want as a training staff, and then you can see it back in the way they play and their behaviour.

“The learning process will continue though for the whole season as they will keep on learning and learning, but especially the first few months. We need to be sharp in repeating and repeating the things we want to do and want to see.”