Wellington Phoenix will unveil their new coach in June, with the A-League club claiming they have signed a contract with their “preferred candidate”, who is understood to be from Europe.
In a letter sent to Wellington members on Friday, Phoenix CEO David Dome claimed the club has “conducted interviews across three continents” to meet their self-imposed deadline of May 31 to secure a new coach.
Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham, Wellington Phoenix
Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre, who led the Phoenix from Round 9 onwards after previous boss Ernie Merrick quit, have missed out on the job.
“Chris and Des earned the right to interview for the top job next season and impressed the football committee with their tactical awareness and vision for the club,” Dome wrote.
“While they have been unsuccessful this time, in Des and Chris, we believe we have two of the most talented young coaches currently active in Australasia.
“Since it was confirmed, on April 8, that Wellington Phoenix were out of finals contention the club has engaged in a thorough review of our coaching structure – our present strengths and weaknesses – and what leadership attributes are necessary to take this club forward.
“I’ve previously and publicly expressed our commitment to a 31 May deadline for finalising the head coach appointment, and after six weeks of winnowing out applications, conducting interviews across three continents (and numerous timezones!), I can happily report that we have met this commitment ahead of schedule.
“We have a signed contract with our preferred candidate and pending flights and immigration we look forward to presenting our new head coach in Wellington, early June.
“In the interim our new head coach has been talking to our football operations department, assessing our current squad of players and potential new signings from across Australasia and beyond.”
Wellington were linked with former Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce in April but quickly moved to dispel those rumours.
The Phoenix have only had two permanent coaches in their 10-year history with Rickie Herbert leading them for almost six years before Merrick took over.
Dome has claimed the Phoenix’s new coach will kick-start a new era for the New Zealand-based club.
“With a deep knowledge of European football, experience of developing young talent and a wide network of scouting contacts, our prospective head coach is excellently situated to attract quality players to our football club and we look forward to announcing several key signings over the months ahead,” he wrote.
Merrick was unveiled as Newcastle Jets new coach earlier this month, while Adelaide United and Melbourne City are still looking for new managers.