New A-League franchise Melbourne Heart has confirmed the signing of Sydney FC striker and former Soccceroo John Aloisi for its inaugural season.
In unveiling Melbourne Heart FC’s home strip, featuring red and white stripes, Aloisi has signed a one-year playing deal while transitioning to a backroom role, where the 34-year-old will assume a pivotal role in the building of the club’s first National Youth League team in 2011/12.
Helping Sydney FC to the A-League Premiership and Championship double, Aloisi has undergone a renaissance over the last 12 months, scoring 10 goals in only 16 starts this season to finish as his side’s leading scorer.
The Olympian’s reunion with Head Coach John van ’t Schip is a professional relationship 16 years in the making, with the ex-Dutch international mentoring a young John Aloisi while the pair shared a dressing room at Genoa in the Serie A.
“Life can be very strange. I worked with John (Aloisi) while he was a young boy trying out at Genoa and we established a very good relationship, so to be working with him again shows how interesting the world of football is,” he said.
“As a player, John has achieved much and has great qualities. He has great touch, a fantastic shot, and an ability to draw his teammates into the game, a combination of skills that’s very difficult to find.
“I have been in Australia long enough to appreciate John’s important contribution to football here and know just how important this signing is for the club.”
Having sampled such a variety of football cultures across his career, van ‘t Schip is confident Aloisi is capable of starting his development as a coach.
“There are not many footballers who have played in all three big European leagues. It’s amazing to think that John completed his first season in Italy while I was finishing the final one of my career,” he said.
“In my discussions with John, it is clear he has a great understanding of football at a tactical level and I believe that he now has an opportunity to become a successful coach.”