thumbnail Hello,

New Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi undaunted by Ange Postecoglou-led Victory, confident of keeping assistant Ante Milicic

The former Socceroos forward believes experience will not be an issue as he takes over the role at Heart, and is aiming to win the league in his debut campaign at the helm

Newly appointed Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi believes he is ready to deal with city rivals Melbourne Victory under Ange Postecoglou, and is also confident of keeping highly rated assistant Ante Milicic at the club.

Former Australia striker Aloisi, who ended his playing career at Heart, has signed a three-year deal to succeed inaugural coach John van 't Schip.

He beat out Milicic for the role despite an apprenticeship of just one season as Heart's National Youth League team coach, fronting reporters at Tuesday's announcement of his appointment.

"When I retired just one year ago, I didn't expect to be head coach here within a year," Aloisi said.

"When this came along, I thought it would be a great opportunity.

"I'm confident in our young squad. I think we've got one of the most exciting young squads in the league."

While acknowledging impact injuries and other unforeseen issues can have on a club's fortunes, Aloisi said the team's aim was a lofty one:"... If the players don't have the goal to win the league then what's the point of being in the competition?"

Heart chairman Peter Sidwell said Aloisi was the "right applicant" for the club, and was confident the work of Dutchman van 't Schip - now at the helm of Mexican heavyweight Chivas Guadalajara - can continue under the 36-year-old.

"JvS set a platform for the club and also for myself," Aloisi said.

"That's why I'm not so nervous about taking this role so soon. I learned a lot from John."

Aloisi's appointment comes just 12 days after Ange Postecoglou's move to city rivals Victory, but the new Heart coach did not seem daunted at the prospect of facing the man who led Brisbane Roar to successive A-League titles.

"In the media it's going to be [portrayed as] rookie against old experienced head, but on the pitch it's not going to be like that," Aloisi said.

"... I believe our squad will be strong enough to come up against any team in the competition."

Milicic had appeared the early frontrunner to the job after van 't Schip's announcement, with the former Brisbane Roar striker having impressed as head coach of New South Wales Premier League club Sydney United and then as an assistant at Heart in their two seasons in the competition.

There has been speculation Milicic may move to new A-League club western Sydney - where he was born - to work under Tony Popovic, his long-time team-mate at Sydney United and current Crystal Palace assistant. 

But both Sidwell and Aloisi are confident of keeping Milicic at Heart.

"Ante was disappointed. He was obviously keen to get the head role, but was understanding of [the decision]," Sidwell said.  "He's moving forward with us."

Aloisi added: "Ante is contracted. I want him to stay on. He's been great for the club. Our partnership works well."

Follow Paddy Higgs on 

Goal Australia has its own and account, so for all the latest news and features on Australian football follow us by clicking on the above links

Related

From the web