Melbourne City FC Head Coach John van’t Schip believes there is a healthy mix of excitement, anticipation and focus ahead of the Club’s opening round clash against Sydney FC.
Prior to his team’s final training session and on the eve of Melbourne City FC’s match-up against Graham Arnold’s side, van’t Schip said the team had enjoyed a week of focus, while integrating new Spanish striker David Villa into the group.
“Yes of course [we’re excited], it’s been a long pre-season. I’m looking forward to it,” van’t Schip told the media at La Trobe University on Friday morning.
“You can sense it also [with] the boys, it’s coming close and the excitement of starting the league is there and the boys are ready.
“You can feel it; the boys are happy, they are energetic, talking, they’re laughing and also there is that kind of focus that they know it is [about] to start.”
While Villa has been on the lips of media and fans alike this week, van’t Schip remained tight-lipped about what role the New York City FC forward would play.
“Yes, he is going to be part of the game and we will just see which part,” van’t Schip said.
“We know he’s fit, he can play, he wants to play.”
Villa has integrated into the Club almost seamlessly, with his sharpness, finishing and experience evident in his first training sessions in Melbourne – and his engagement with his new teammates.
Despite a language barrier, Villa has been able to communicate through Argentine midfielder Jonatan Germano, van’t Schip – who speaks Spanish from his time in Mexico – and Head of Sports Science Simone Ripamonti, who used to work for Real Madrid.
However, with football an international language, Villa is sure to fit into van’t Schip’s positive style of play.
“We want to play a game where we have the ball a lot, we attack, we defend forward and that is what we have as a vision and what we work on,” van’t Schip said.
Hyundai A-League Round 1
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Sydney FC vs. Melbourne City FC
Allianz Stadium, Sydney