Euro strikers on Heart wish-list

Melbourne Heart head coach John van 't Schip has returned from his two-month scouting trip through Europe with a wish-list of strikers he's keen to recruit for the club's inaugural Hyundai A-League season.

Melbourne Heart head coach John van 't Schip has returned from his two-month scouting trip through Europe with a wish-list of strikers he's keen to recruit for the club's inaugural Hyundai A-League season.

Van 't Schip scoured Spain's La Liga and the Eredivisie in his native Holland for attacking players with something different to offer.

"For the moment, we will be looking for the players up front," van 't Schip told melbourneheartsyn.com.

"That's where our focus is, looking for players we feel can bring a little bit extra, and that is the main thing we were looking for abroad in Europe."

Asked whether he was confident of attracting the club's main targets to the Hyundai A-League, van 't Schip said: "Yes, there is a chance."

"I think it will only increase at the end of the European season when the players will know more about the situations at their actual clubs and the possibility of resigning."

"If the situation is clearer, they can make a decision to come or to say, 'No, I would like to stay because I have another opportunity in Europe'."

Van 't Schip said he would be staying in touch with his European contacts and keeping a close watch on the players he's targeted, many of who fit a particular profile.

"Some players were very interested, but much depended on what kind of person they are and what stage they are at in their career," he said.

"A very talented, promising player normally would not take the next step to come to Australia, which is also what you see here with young players who, if they have the chance, would love to play in Europe."

"So they would first of all think of making a career in Europe, but there are a lot of players also who are at a certain level or certain period in their career that are open to listen and think about coming to Australia."

"The big competitions are still played in Europe, so it is going to take a long time to improve and develop that big name which will make players think, 'yeah, I'm going to go play in Australia'."

"The financial aspect and the influence of the salary cap play a part also, but we are still a young league and have room to grow."

Van 't Schip said he's keen to start training with his new players as soon as they become available, but expects that it will be mid-year before the bulk of the squad is assembled.

"I will still complete a lot of scouting along with (assistant coaches) Jesper Olsen and Ante Milicic, watching a lot of games, having talks with players who we think could be interesting for us," he said.