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Putting the Players First

John Van’t Schip is a Dutch coach who developed as both a player and a coach under the guidance of the legendary Johan Cruyff. Van’t Schip has worked as first-team coach for both Ajax and the Netherlands. He now finds himself at the heart of FFA Cup Winners, Melbourne City FC in Australia’s A League. In this exclusive interview with PDP Editor, Dave Wright, we hear about John’s journey and what advice he has for developing coaches.


Given his deep connections to Dutch football, it is somewhat surprising to learn that John Van’t Schip spent the early years of his life in Canada as an avid ice hockey fan. It is a unique beginning for a man who went on to have an 11-year career at Ajax and four years at Genoa in Italy following that. It was only at the age of seven that he first went to a soccer practice with an English schoolmate – but it was the moment that started John’s lifelong relationship with the sport.

The following year the Van’t Schip family moved to...

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