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Van 't Schip up for City title shout

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The rubber hits the road on Melbourne City's season of delivery in Wellington on Saturday night, and coach John van 't Schip hopes his team's fans are ready for the ride.

Van 't Schip's are one of the favourites to bring home the A-League title after investing heavily in new players for their third season as City.

But with investment comes turnover.

And with turnover comes re-education.

And with re-education, the Dutchman also hopes patience will be shown as he attempts to forge a group of strong players into a strong team.

"There's been a lot of players, 11 of 22 players, that are new so it's going to be a gelling process," he said.

"It's now about hard work, gelling, having a good attitude.

"We have competition for spots ... and hopefully we can start with some good results."

The biggest new signing, Tim Cahill, won't feature against the Nix as he spends the week on Socceroos duty.

Phoenix have their own unavailabilities, with a key quartet - Kosta Barbarouses, Michael McGlinchey, Louis Fenton and Andrew Durante - away with the All Whites.

While Cahill will have no impact on the Wellington pitch, van 't Schip hopes he's already helped City's cause by raising the stakes.

"There' s been a lot of attention. This is normal because Tim has been a great figure in Australian football," he said.

"It's one of the reasons we got him in, it's what we want.

"We want to promote the game and get the players in that can excite the audience."

Van 't Schip also has another Socceroo at his disposal again - Ivan Franjic - after the right-back was cleared to resume training after being diagnosed with a heart condition.

But he won't be travelling to New Zealand, or figure in the round two derby, and will instead complete his own pre-season workout.

His return to fitness means that City are also entering a season bereft of the injury concerns that have dogged the club in the past.

Only Corey Gameiro (ACL) is a long-term absentee, clearing off another reason for City's failings in previous campaigns.

Could this be City's year?

Van 't Schip is happy to welcome the attention and the expectation.

"We're not going to hide," he said.

"We want to win silverware. We have the selection and the squad to be up there.

"We want to be a club that will be on top every year ... and we're up for the challenge."

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