Sidwell Lauds Van 't Schip Impact

Melbourne Heart FC Chairman Peter Sidwell has lauded the impact of foundation Head Coach John van ‘t Schip in the wake of the announcement he will depart the Club at season’s end.

Melbourne Heart FC Chairman Peter Sidwell has lauded the impact of foundation Head Coach John van ‘t Schip in the wake of the announcement he will depart the Club at season-s end.

With van ‘t Schip-s looming exit marking the turnover of Heart-s first key building block, the Dutchman-s announcement marked a major flashpoint in Club history.

While van ‘t Schip played a pivotal role in the development and execution of Heart-s on-field philosophy, the former Ajax Head Coach also applied his substantial knowledge off-field, offering insights and guidance based on his experience at the elite level.

Praising his contribution, Sidwell offered glowing praise of van ‘t Schip-s tenure at the Club, stating his input has left Heart well placed to maintain its current growth trajectory at all levels.

“If you leave a place in a better condition then that's the measure of a man, and clearly John van 't Schip's delivery to this club is exactly that,'' Sidwell said.

Commencing discussions regarding a contract extension in December, Sidwell revealed Heart were eager to retain van ‘t Schip-s services for next season and beyond, indicating the Club wished for him to continue along the journey upon which he initially embarked in October 2009.

However, Sidwell said the lure of returning to Europe ultimately proved too strong for van ‘t Schip, rendering Heart-s overtures ultimately futile.

''John's decision is his own. We were anxious for him to continue … we had discussions for some time. But for both personal and professional reasons he has decided to return to Europe,” he said.

''To say we are grateful is a massive understatement. When you bring a club discipline, culture and set up a team from nothing when you are given very little to do so, it's a fantastic achievement. He will be with us to the end of the season.

“We hope and trust we will see finals. There's still a championship to be won and John will be with us all the way through.''