Thursday, 8 December 2016 –
This week, Asian football expert @JohnnyDuerden offered some choice picks for Phoenix from Asia.
And since then, Kewell – currently coaching Watford U-23s – has spoken of his long-term ambition to coach Liverpool and his interest in developing his coaching career back home.
Now, as Phoenix interim coaches Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre prepare the team for this weekend’s clash with the Mariners at FMG Stadium, we scour Australia and the globe for suitable candidates.
And Kewell is one of a number of potentials for New Zealand’s flagship Hyundai A-League club.
If Wellington want a coach who knows what it takes to be successful in the Hyundai A-League then Mulvey could be their man.
The English-born former Gold Coast coach guided Brisbane Roar to the Premiership/Championship double in 2014 before parting ways with the club the following season. He’s spent the last couple of years in Malaysia, where he is currently at the helm of Super League club Terengganu FA and remains highly respected. He’d have unfinished business in the A-League after his shock departure from Roar so soon after winning the Championship.
Regarded as one of the obvious contenders for the position, the Spaniard has been doing wonderful things with local New Zealand outfit Auckland City, where he has been since 2010. Not only has the 44-year-old won six OFC Champions League titles and a few championships in NZ, he most famously steered the club to third place at the 2014 FIFA Club World Cup.
Tribulietx is renowned as an excellent tactician and knows the local game well from his many years in New Zealand. He has been linked with potential jobs in the Hyundai A-League in the past but been overlooked, so could this be his time? Currently coaching Auckland at the FIFA Club World Cup.
The former Sydney FC skipper is a young coach who has served a long – and successful – apprenticeship in Australia’s PS4 NPL structure. Rudan has enjoyed great success with Sydney United 58, including taking out the Australian PS4 NPL title in 2016.
He has proven to be an insightful analyst in his role with Fox Sports and is highly regarded as a coach who knows the lay of the A-League land, with many experts in the game believing the one-time “Big Blue Man” is ready to make the transition into Hyundai A-League management.
The Englishman has been an assistant at the club since he hung up his boots at the end of the 2011/12 Season after a strong career in England and Hyundai A-League.
Greenacre has done the top job at Phoenix in a caretaker role in the past, and – along with Des Buckingham – has been handed the reins again for the interim. If he can improve performances and turn results around quickly, it might convince the club the 38-year-old is ready to step up into the top job permanently.
The 35-year-old is obviously well respected in New Zealand and is currently coach of the All Whites. While he has limited experience coaching at club level, he knows many of the Phoenix squad well from the national team so it wouldn’t take him long to put his mark on the squad.
With a big year of FIFA World Cup qualifiers and a Confederations Cup ahead for the All Whites he may not want the added distraction of another role, although it seemed to work well for Ricki Herbert up to a point.
Enormously respected as a player and hugely ambitious, Phoenix would make headlines around the world if they could attract the former Leeds, Liverpool and Caltex Socceroo striker.
He knows the league well given his stints at the back-end of his career with Heart and Victory and is learning his craft as development coach under experienced Italian coach Walter Mazzarri at EPL club Watford. His will to win and sheer determination could be just what Phoenix need right now.
Spoke to Omnisport this week about wanting to kick-start his coaching career and didn’t rule out a job in the Hyundai A-League. Like Kewell, this appointment would bring a global focus to the club and the former Real Madrid player’s connections would open the door for some big names to potentially play under him.
It would be fascinating what the Brazilian great might bring to the league and Phoenix.
Football Federation Australia