Van 't Schip: Heart takeover to boost league

Manchester City's takeover of the Melbourne Heart could spark an arms race that lifts the A-League standard, according to John van 't Schip.

The Heart coach anticipated not only a dramatic increase of quality on the pitch in Australia's domestic football competition as a result of the Premier League giant's purchase of his club, but he envisaged more big overseas backers to get involved in the A-League as well.

"Every team would get stronger, play against better teams if you play against good teams normally you get better yourself as well," he said.

"If we now get resources with the new owners and strengths that we can grow as a club, we will benefit and in the end everyone will benefit, will make the level higher.

"And also other clubs will maybe now find investors - the attention is now focused on Australian soccer and I think that's a very positive thing."

The Heart have been football nomads this season, having trained at multiple venues, and van 't Schip said their new owners' plan to establish a permanent base was critical for the club.

"To have a base is very important, it's like having a home and knowing from there you can build on further," van 't Schip said.

"If you only look at all the big clubs in Europe (and) all over the world, having a good base is so important, having an academy is important."

Van 't Schip also welcomed the Heart's new owners' desire to enforce a uniform style of play that they wanted the Melbourne club's teams to adhere to.

"It makes it easy because it's clarity, I've always worked like that," he said.

The Dutchman first left the Heart following the 2011-12 season due to what he perceived to be a lack of growth opportunities for the club.

But with Manchester City now on board, van 't Schip was very keen to stick around beyond this campaign.

"Taking the next step is what it's all about," the former Ajax winger said.

The Premier League club are set to shake things up at the struggling Heart at the end of the season, but van 't Schip said that was no reason for his players to panic and was confident they would all be heading into their next match against Adelaide full of positivity following the takeover news.

"If you know what kind of change has been made, everyone would like to be involved in that so I assume the players are very positive about that and will give them a lot of energy," van 't Schip said.

As for potential transfer targets, the Heart coach was only interested in recruiting players who had a long-term future at the club.

In more good news for the Heart, marquee player Orlando Engelaar is set to make his first start against the Reds on Saturday.

The Dutchman came off the bench during the Heart's breakthrough 3-1 victory over Newcastle last week and van 't Schip expected him to last at least an hour at Coopers Stadium.

However, David Williams and Patrick Gerhardt will almost certainly miss the clash due to injury and are set to be replaced by Michael Mifsud and Patrick Kisnorbo.


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