Candidates emerge for vacant Wellington Phoenix job

A former Real Madrid player is believed to be among those in the running for the Wellington Phoenix's coaching job, with the club stepping up their efforts to find their new man Indonesia   By PADDY HIGGS
Chief editor - Australia

Wellington Phoenix appear to have no shortage of candidates for their vacant coaching position, with the club aiming to have their new man installed by the end of April.

Having advertised the role this week, the Phoenix will have the likes of interim coach Chris Greenacre, an as-yet unnamed former Real Madrid player and Central Coast Mariners assistant coach Phil Moss among those to consider.

Englishman Greenacre has been in charge since Ricki Herbert's resignation on February 26, with the former Tranmere Rovers striker drawing improved performances - including a 1-0 win over Melbourne Heart in Week 23 - since stepping up from his assistant role.

He revealed after Phoenix's 2-1 loss to Western Sydney on Sunday that he was warming to the idea of the full-time role: "I am just focusing on the last two games, but I admit that I've really enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot about myself," he said.

"… You do get a taste of it and maybe start to want it a bit sooner than you thought, but for now my job is to get the best out of the team for the next two games."

The identity of the former Real Madrid player has remained a mystery since his interest emerged last Friday, but ETI Sport Management - the Australian agency representing his interests here - confirmed to Goal Australia that he had coaching experience elsewhere.

Moss is likely to be one of several Australian-based coaches to apply for the Phoenix role, but the 41-year-old's stocks are high after proving an integral part of the Central Coast Mariners' successes of recent seasons under head coach Graham Arnold.

Phoenix general manager told The New Zealand Herald on Saturday that the A-League's bottom club had fielded interest from all over the world: "We certainly want to get it done ASAP, but at the same time we want to make sure that we aren't making a rash decision," Dome said.

"We want to make sure that we take all the appropriate steps to get the best possible candidate for the role because it's absolutely hugely important and crucial to the future of the club to appoint the right person."

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