FFA Cup final coach focus: Melbourne City

A dashing and successful winger during his playing days, John van ‘t Schip has carried that same flair into his coaching career in Holland, Mexico and Australia.

A product of the famed Ajax academy, van ‘t Schip, now 52, won four league titles in the Netherlands, a UEFA Cup and a European Cup Winners Cup.

He also appeared 41 times for the Netherlands – scoring twice – and was a part of the squad which won the European Championships in 1988. And he appeared at the FIFA World Cup two years later in Italy.

FFA Cup final coach focus: Sydney FC

'Hard' City key to FFA Cup triumph: JVS

And while silverware hasn’t yet translated to his coaching career as yet, all that could change on November 30 at AAMI Park.

John Van't Schip during his Ajax days.

Van ‘t Schip’s Melbourne City are fighting to win the club’s first piece of silverware in the highly anticipated Westfield FFA Cup final against Sydney FC.

JVS's coaching career began with a one-year stint with Dutch Eredivise club FC Twente in 2001/02, before he was installed as head coach of AFC Ajax’s renowned youth academy.

It was here that van ‘t Schip was able to nurture future stars of the Dutch national team, including Wesley Sneijder, Rafael van der Vaart, John Heitinga and Nigel de Jong.

On the recommendation of close friend and mentor, the late John Cruyff, in 2004 van ‘t Schip was appointed as assistant coach of the Dutch National Team, working alongside former team mate Marco van Basten.

He stayed on for four years with the Oranje, helping take them to the 2006 FIFA World Cup and 2008 European Championships.

JVS Netherlands.

It was not long after - for the start of Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season – that van ‘t Schip became known to Australian fans as the inaugural coach of new club Melbourne Heart.

He has had many big influences on his coaching career, including the likes of Cruyff, Guus Hiddink, Louis Van Gaal and Dick Advocaat.

Van ‘t Schip played a key role in helping Heart achieve traction in Melbourne and introduced an attacking style as he guided the club to their first finals appearance in his second season at the helm.

A short stint with Mexican club Guadalajara followed in 2012 and after almost a year without a job, van ‘t Schip was back in Melbourne at Heart for the final part of the 2013/14 season.

And he has been there ever since as the club rebranded as Melbourne City. 

After back-to-back Hyundai A-League Finals Series appearances, City – with the likes of Tim Cahill, Bruno Fornaroli and Luke Brattan – are playing some eye-catching football and are one of the favourites for this season’s Hyundai A-League Championship.

But before that there’s the small matter of a Westfield FFA Cup final and a chance to add a significant trophy as a manager to the ones he won as a player.