Van 't Schip proud of Heart contribution

Departed head coach John van ‘t Schip has revealed the depth of his connection with Melbourne Heart FC, detailing his pride in playing a pivotal role in building the club from the ground up.

Departed head coach John van ‘t Schip has revealed the depth of his connection with Melbourne Heart FC, detailing his pride in playing a pivotal role in building the club from the ground up.

Van ‘t Schip departed for the Netherlands on Monday, where he will spend nearly a month recharging his batteries before jetting to Mexico and Guadalajara.

As one of the largest clubs in Central and South America, van ‘t Schip is poised to step into a cauldron type atmosphere, with the Dutchman expecting a level of interest and scrutiny equal to anywhere in Europe, a stark contrast to the football landscape down under.

The Ajax legend though has nothing but fond memories of his stint with the Heart, despite expressing some regret in the nature of the side-s recent finals exit.

"I'll follow Heart like I follow all of my old teams, and I'm proud to be part of the club's history and helped create a philosophy that they can take with them," he said.

"We all know we wanted results to be better, but the philosophy that we've put down in two years is something to be proud of and something that they can build on in the future.

“I expected more when we got into the finals, although we knew every team which reached the top six could win or lose on any given day. It was very tight, but playing that last game was a disappointment for us all.”

Among van ‘t Schip-s crowning achievements at Heart was the installation of an overarching philosophy placing substantial emphasis on embracing and nurturing youth, the product of which was the emergence of several rising stars including Aziz Behich, Eli Babalj, Brendan Hamill and Curtis Good.

With this in mind, van ‘t Schip is confident Heart-s current crop of players can deliver further and improve on the side-s sixth place finish next season.

“We have a young team and a lot of young players, and they made huge steps, so I think there is a bright future ahead for the Heart," he said.

"I think looking to the club and coming here two years ago, it-s really a big effort from us all, from the people in the office and football department, building up a culture, building up a club, and signing players, I wish them all the best for the coming years."