Squad Annoucement - Heart v Phoenix

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has named midfielder Wayne Srhoj in an extended 18-man squad to take on Wellington Phoenix this Sunday.

Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has named midfielder Wayne Srhoj in an extended 18-man squad to take on Wellington Phoenix this Sunday.

The former Young Socceroo has been out of action since the Melbourne Derby on December 23, struggling to overcome a niggling quadriceps strain.

Having played a crucial role in Heart-s stunning run of form throughout November and December, Srhoj-s timely return comes as the Red and White prepare to lose the trio of Aziz Behich, Mate Dugandzic and Jason Hoffman to Olyroos duty next week.

Behich, Dugandzic and Hoffman will depart for Dubai immediately after touching down in Australia on Monday night, missing three matches as they seek to help the Australian Under 23-s qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

After being substituted with an apparent knock to his knee during last week-s 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar, Brendan Hamill has trained strongly this week and is poised to take his place in the starting line-up at Westpac Stadium.

Hamill, who together with Curtis Good, forms half of the youngest central defensive partnership in the Hyundai A-League has demonstrated significant growth this season, developing the confidence to have faith in his technical ability as he pushes forward into the opposing half with regularity.

Simon Colosimo will provide van ‘t Schip with another defensive option meanwhile if he opts to inject a dose of experience into Heart-s otherwise youthful backline, with the 21-year-old Behich, and Marrone, 24, filling the full back positions.

Having emphasised Heart-s tactical flexibility by fielding a two-man forward against Brisbane Roar in contrast to his usually preferred three-man formation, van ‘t Schip is unlikely to show his hand in an attacking sense until late in the piece, with Brazilian Maycon called up to the squad.

The former Nova Iguacu striker has been a victim of Heart-s impressive attacking depth, which also surprisingly forced Rutger Worm to the sidelines last week.

Meanwhile, new recruit Paul Reid will spend another week re-acquainting himself with the demands of first team football by lining up for John Aloisi-s National Youth League side on Saturday.

After an impressive 45 minute display against Brisbane Roar on Sunday, Reid is on track to make his Red and White debut during the Melbourne Derby on February 4 should he continue to make rapid progress in building his match fitness.

Squad v Wellington Phoenix

Melbourne Heart FC squad: 1.Clint Bolton, 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 4.Simon Colosimo, 6.Matt Thompson, 7.Rutger Worm, 8.Kristian Sarkies, 9.Maycon, 10.Wayne Srhoj, 11.Alex Terra, 13.Jonatan Germano, 15.David Williams, 16.Aziz Behich, 17.Jason Hoffman, 18.Curtis Good, 19.Eli Babalj, 23.Mate Dugandzic, 30.Sebastian Mattei *three to be omitted*

In: Maycon (promoted), Jason Hoffman (promoted), Wayne Srhoj (returns from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Fred (groin 4-6 weeks), Nick Kalmar (back 4 weeks), Kliment Taseski (foot 4-6 weeks)