Heart trio on track

Melbourne Heart are set to go into their first Hyundai A-League match with close to a full-strength side to pick from with coach John van 't Schip confirming that experienced trio Matt Thompson, Wayne Srhoj and John Aloisi should all be fit to face the Mariners on August 5.

Melbourne Heart are set to go into their first Hyundai A-League match with close to a full-strength side to pick from with coach John van 't Schip confirming that experienced trio Matt Thompson, Wayne Srhoj and John Aloisi should all be fit to face the Mariners on August 5.

Heart, who are embarking on their inaugural season, have impressed with their recruitment and three weeks out things have been progressing nicely in preparation for their opening match.

Aloisi, Thompson and Srhoj all missed Wednesday's clash against Everton as they are all still recovering from off-season surgery but remain on track to play in the season-opener at AAMI Park.

"We've got to be glad about having all players back and we have a good choice before the first game," Van 't Schip said. "We still have three weeks to go. Matt Thompson is on his way back, Wayne Shroj is on his way back, John Aloisi is doing very well in his rehab."

"The only one is a little bit far behind is Kristian Sarkies, We'll get three more players hopefully back with us on the fifth and then we have to make a good balance on who we have on the pitch."

Considering key players Josip Skoko and Michael Beauchamp have only joined the squad over the past week, van 't Schip is delighted where his squad is at.

"We are also not yet at the end of our pre-season, so we have still some weeks to go, if you see what we have done until now, we are getting closer and closer to the point that we need to be on August 5 against Central Coast," he said.

"Still then, the process will go on. A lot of players are coming back from injuries, playing for the first time, Josip, Alex Terra, Michael Beauchamp just arrived, some players having some injuries coming back."

The most pleasing aspect for Van 't Schip out of the 2-0 loss to Everton was the performance of his younger players, who dominated their EPL opponents in the final 30 minutes of the match.

"it-s good to see that the difference between the older and the younger players is closing. That will make you strong as a squad, I'm happy with the performance," he said.

Skipper Simon Colosimo agreed that the key to Heart's success in season one will be the competition for places within the squad and the pressure the younger squad members put on the more experienced players.

"We've finally got most of the squad together. There was a lot more player wise to choose from, so it-s come down to, there's pressure for positions now. It-s great to have guys like Eli (Babalj), Kamal (Ibrahim), Brendan Hamill, Klement (Taseski) when he came on. These guys have come in, done a good job and they are going to put everyone under pressure," Colosimo said.

"The coach has said from day one that as soon as you can show me that you are the best option, then you are the best option. There's a lot of motivation for the younger boys to break in, there's a lot of motivation for the older boys to stay on their toes and work hard," he said.

Meanwhile, Everton manager David Moyes praised the work that has already been done in establishing Heart.

"It's really difficult but to set up a new club out of nothing is something that is really hard," Moyes said.

"And I think the coach looks as if he's done a good job in the way he wants them to play, with a Dutch coach you can see the style, they've got a Dutch style to the play and that's not always easy to introduce very quickly."

"They gave us a good game, I enjoyed the game in the end and we had a decent workout."