Phoenix sign 'excellently situated' unnamed Europe-based coach

The Wellington Phoenix are poised to announce a European-based coach to take charge of their A-League team.

Phoenix general manager David Dome used a letter to club members to announce a head coach has been confirmed to succeed Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre, the co-coaches for the bulk of the 2016-17 season.

Dome confirmed the pair had both undergone interviews but had missed out to a coach who has signed a contract and will be unveiled in early June, pending immigration clearance.

Dome says the new coach has effectively begun his role, talking to the Phoenix football operations department and assessing the strength of the current squad.

"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," Dome said.

The club's interview process had straddled three continents, Dome said, following the completion of review into its coaching structure.

Fifteen players from last season's squad are contracted for 2017-18.

"Currently off-contract players have been evaluated by our prospective head coach over previous weeks and any departures come with our best wishes," Dome said.

He praised the performance of Buckingham and Greenacre "in difficult circumstances". They succeeded veteran mentor Ernie Merrick, who stood down eight games into the season.

The club went on to place seventh, six points shy of the play-offs.

"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," Dome said.

Wellington Phoenix players celebrate the goal scored by Matthew Ridenton during the Hyundai A-League, Wellington Phoenix v Newcastle Jets, Westpac Stadium, Wellington, Sunday 26th March 2017. Copyright Photo: Raghavan Venugopal /
Wellington Phoenix players celebrate the goal scored by Matthew Ridenton against the Newcastle Jets. Source: Photosport

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