Thompson Set For Defensive Role in 11/12

Following his impressive string of performances in central defence last season, Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has revealed versatile Socceroo Matt Thompson is likely to reprise his role again during the upcoming campaign.

Following his impressive string of performances in central defence last season, Head Coach John van ‘t Schip has revealed versatile Socceroo Matt Thompson is likely to reprise his role again during the upcoming campaign.

With maintaining possession central to Heart-s football philosophy, van ‘t Schip sees Thompson as the ideal player to perform the duties of ball playing defender alongside Captain Simon Colosimo.

As a disciple of the Ajax way, Van ‘t Schip is eager to play the ball out of defence, using Thompson-s vision and passing ability as a springboard to launch attacks.

And given the success of the Colosimo-Thompson partnership towards the latter part of last season, when Heart only dropped one match out of the last nine, van ‘t Schip sees no need to change a successful formula.

However, the race for a place in the starting eleven is by no means a certain outcome, with youngsters Brendan Hamill, currently on Young Socceroos duty, and Curtis Good clamouring to stake their claim for a place in the side.

Hamill in particular has impressed during the off-season, performing well during a string of Young Socceroo camps in the lead up to his selection for the FIFA U/20 World Cup in Colombia later this month.

With Hamill joined by Ante Milicic, who is again playing the role of Assistant Coach to Jan Versleijen, throughout the FIFA U/20 World Cup campaign, van ‘t Schip is set to receive regular reports on the 18-year-old-s progress.

Van ‘t Schip said: “If you look at our centre-backs we have Brendan, Curtis Simon and probably Matt who-s probably going to play in the back.

“And Adrian Zahra can play at right full back because now up front we have a lot of other attacking kind of players.

“Adrian is also a player who can attack from the back and on the left side we have Aziz of course and Curtis can play left full-back.”