Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip will wait until Friday’s final training session before deciding on his final 15-man squad to take on Sydney FC at AAMI Park this weekend.
Melbourne Heart FC Head Coach John van ‘t Schip will wait until Friday-s final training session before deciding on his final 15-man squad to take on Sydney FC at AAMI Park this weekend.
Van ‘t Schip is faced with a welcome dilemma, with a full quota of 23 players available at his disposal for the crunch match, although the Dutchman has named a preliminary squad of 18 featuring Jason Hoffman, Rutger Worm and David Williams as the inclusions.
Whether any of the trio can force their way into the reckoning for Saturday though will likely be dependent on how van ‘t Schip sees Heart lining up against a confident Sydney outfit.
The Ajax legend has oscillated between three formations - 4-3-3, 3-4-3 or 4-4-2 - a luxury facilitated by Heart-s substantial depth and versatility, a hallmark of all side-s bearing an Orange imprint.
Indeed, van ‘t Schip-s ability to rearrange his formation from week-to-week, and within matches themselves, has become a hallmark of his time at the Club, a signal of his deep tactical knowledge and capacity to interpret developments on match day.
He can be sure too that Heart will be on its game, hardly lacking in sharpness, by virtue of the increased competition for places, which has seen the level of intensity heighten dramatically in recent weeks.
The likes of Nick Kalmar and Adrian Zahra, who were regulars last season, have been unable to edge themselves back into the match day squad despite making full and impressive recoveries from long term injuries.
The same can also be said in the cases of Kliment Taseski and Kamal Ibrahim, youngsters who have trained strongly and progressed significantly, only to have opportunities limited by the form of Hyundai A-League regulars.
Such has been the fight for places on match day that Williams, a two-time Socceroo, has made only 15 appearances this season, finding opportunities limited by the form of Eli Babalj, Mate Dugandzic, and alternatively, Alex Terra and Worm.
Melbourne Heart FC Squad vs. Sydney FC
1. Clint Bolton (GK), 2.Michael Marrone, 3.Brendan Hamill, 4.Simon Colosimo, 5.Fred (c), 6.Matt Thompson, 7.Rutger Worm, 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, 27.Craig Goodwin, 30.Sebastian Mattei (GK) *three to be omitted* Coach: John van ‘t Schip In: Jason Hoffman, David Williams, Rutger Worm (all promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Nil