With an Westfield FFA Cup trophy tantalisingly close, real competition for places and a new superstar in their midst, Melbourne City will be a dangerous prospect this Hyundai A-League season, says coach John van ‘t Schip.
And he has a warning for rival clubs, City are still nowhere near their peak despite showing some blistering form in pre-season.
City cruised into the Westfield FFA Cup semi-finals on Tuesday night after a 5-0 drubbing of PS4 NPL Victoria club Heidelberg United at a jam-packed Olympic Village.
That’s 12 goals from their three FFA Cup matches while they have been free-scoring in some of their pre-season friendlies too including one 8-0 win over Oakleigh.
“We’re working towards the season that’s ahead of us and still getting a lot of players back from injury,” van ‘t Schip told Fox Sports.
“We want to be competitive and we will be competitive because already within we have a lot of players that can go for one position.
“I’m happy with how things are going but pre-season is pre-season.
“This is FFA Cup and it’s important but when the league starts it’s going to be a different story.”
The City boss was delighted with his side’s performance against Heidelberg which has set up a semi-final clash away to Perth Glory next month.
With rivals Melbourne Victory drawn against PS4 NPL side Hume City in the other semi, a blockbuster Melbourne Derby Cup final looms as a tantalizing prospect.
“I’m not going to talk about that yet,” van ‘t Schip said with a smile.
“First it’s important we win the next game and Victory still has to beat Hume.”
One thing van ‘t Schip was happy to talk about was the form of star midfielder Aaron Mooy, who capped another stunning performance with a second-half hat-trick.
“Aaron showed last year already that he’s something that adds something special to our team and he showed it again [against Heidelberg],” he said.
“But I have to give all the boys a compliment, they worked very hard.
“We still have to work on improving, keeping the ball better but I can’t be disappointed.
“We kept on going and the second half we scored four goals so, we’re looking forward to the [A-League] season.”And the start for City sees the club travel away to last season’s beaten grand finalists Sydney FC on Saturday, October 10.