Heart's Sibon wants another year

January 3, 2011
By Guy Hand

Melbourne Heart's Dutch veteran Gerald Sibon is keen to extend his Australian odyssey for another A-League season.

Sibon, 36, is the Heart's leading scorer and has been one of the most impressive A-League imports this season in helping his fledgling club into the top six.

And after more than 15 years playing in Europe with Dutch top-flight sides PSV Eindhoven and Ajax, English Premier League club Sheffield Wednesday and Germany's Nurnberg, Sibon is buoyed by his performances and believes he is capable of playing another season.

"If they want me to stay, I'd love to," Sibon told AAP.

"I think I can still add something to the team, I want to play.

"I'm not looking forward to retiring but one day you have to. Hopefully it's not going to be soon."

Slotting into a No.10 role, Sibon has been both creative and prolific, netting his sixth goal of the season in Sunday's 2-0 home win over North Queensland.

The Dutchman's Australian adventure has brought both goals and an important family milestone with his youngest daughter - four-month-old Lola - born here.

While the club boasts a big Dutch influence with coach John van `t Schip and winger Rutger Worm, it was playing alongside several Australians in Europe which initially whetted Sibon's appetite to visit.

But the laid back, coffee-quaffing Sibon always thought it would be after he retired from football - harbouring a fascination with travelling the world with his young family.

"I played with (Heart teammates) Michael Beauchamp and Dean Heffernan and also (Socceroo) Josh Kennedy at Nurnberg.

"And there was PSV with (Jason) Culina and (Archie) Thompson, and they told some good stories about Australia. I thought `maybe one day I might go and there'.

"Me and my family always had the intention to travel and Australia was on the list."

Having played Champions League football, representing his country at the Beijing Olympics, and so many seasons at the top level, Sibon's experience was never in doubt - just whether he could cope with the rigours of a physically testing season.

A minor hamstring injury has been the only problem so far, forcing him out for two weeks then restricting him to substitutes' appearances in his two most recent matches.

Otherwise he has played a key role in the Heart's rise to the cusp of making the finals in their debut season.

Sibon and his teammates have been given the rest of the week off, with their next A-League match not until January 15 - away to Perth Glory.