JVS punts on youth again

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has maintained faith with his youngsters, bringing in Brendan Hamill, Kliment Taseski and Jason Hoffman in for injured trio Rutger Worm, John Aloisi and Eli Babalj for Wednesday's mid-week Hyundai A-League match against Wellington.

Melbourne Heart coach John van 't Schip has maintained faith with his youngsters, bringing in Brendan Hamill, Kliment Taseski and Jason Hoffman in for injured trio Rutger Worm, John Aloisi and Eli Babalj for Wednesday's mid-week Hyundai A-League match against Wellington.

In a major blow for the club's hopes of pressing for the finals, Dutchman Worm will miss the next 2-3 weeks with a groin injury while a hip complaint is likely to sideline Young Socceroo Babalj for anything up to eight weeks.

Aloisi is being rested, leaving Heart without three crucial attacking players for the important match against Phoenix at Westpac Stadium, while Australian internationals Simon Colosimo (knee) and Dean Heffernan (illness) remained in Australia.

Van 't Schip has consistently plonked for youth over experience this season and has continued that theme by including two teenagers and a 21-year-old for this match.

"We've brought in three young players and the other players are the same as we had against Adelaide. From those 15 we will find again, 11 who will start. But we will look to stay in the same system and fit in a few players who have not have a lot of games," he said.

That trio may have only started in four games between them so far this season, but van 't Schip remains committed to picking players on form over reputation.

"If other players aren-t available, then the young players come in and get a chance. You've seen that some young players have really taken those chances and they are playing well," he said.

"If a young player comes in and plays well, then they can stay in the team. I've mentioned before, I don't look at age. I look at how everybody is training and how they perform and if they deserve to play, they will play."

The bonus ahead of the game for van 't Schip is the gradual return to fitness of Brazilian Alex Terra, who could be set to make his first start since the Melbourne derby on October 8.

"Alex will be playing a little bit longer this time. He's not able to play 90 minutes yet, but we have to see if we start with him or bringing him in later depending on how the game goes," the coach said.

That will help fill the gap left by Worm, who has been one of Heart's most consistent players this season, while Nick Kalmar is also likely to come in to the starting Xi in a revamped attacking line-up.

Hamill's return to the team from injury will most likely see him used as a back-up for Matt Thompson, who was marked out of the game in a central defensive role last week. A return date for Colosimo remains uncertain with the coach's cryptic comments only serving to intensify speculation about the captain's future.

"He has problem with his knee and he was not able to play. He can feel it the best, not a doctor, and if he says that he's having a problem with his knee, then we have to get another player in. He's an experienced player and that won-t help us. On the other hand, we can give young players a chance," van 't Schip said.