Barcelona to re-launch Aloisi's coaching career

The former Melbourne Heart boss will have the opportunity to learn from the new coaching staff at the Catalan giants as he seeks a fresh start
By Iain Strachan

Ask any out-of-work coach throughout the football world where they'd most like to go in search of fresh ideas and new skills ahead of the next job and Spanish giants Barcelona would surely be one of the dream destinations.

For most aspiring young tacticians it would remain exactly that - a dream.

But circumstances have conspired to present John Aloisi with direct access to the technical department at Camp Nou and the training fields at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, the state-of-the-art successor to the famous La Masia.

Newly appointed coach Luis Enrique has been joined at Barca by his Celta Vigo colleague Juan Carlos Unzue, a close friend of the former Melbourne Heart boss from their playing days at Osasuna.

And when Goal Australia caught up with the 38-year-old on Saturday, the former Socceroos striker revealed his plan to prepare himself for a return to management.

"Keep on educating myself, keep on learning," he said.

"I'd love to get back into coaching when the right opportunity comes about. Hopefully I'll be able to get back in.

"For the time being, (I'm going to) visit different clubs. I went to Europe for four weeks and visited a few clubs over there, got to see the way they work.

"I visited Celta Vigo and watched the way they play. My mate (was) assistant coach, Juan Carlos Unzue, he's gone now to be assistant coach at Barcelona.

"He invited me back there to watching training and go watch some games. I'll definitely make time for it."

Goal Australia then playfully suggested Aloisi could even seek to join the new backroom staff at Camp Nou.

"I'll put the cones out," he said with a smile.

Aloisi attended Socceroos training this weekend as a guest of head coach Ange Postecoglou, his former rival from their time at Heart and Melbourne Victory respectively.

"I got in contact with Ange a while ago to see if I could come and watch training and he's been very open," he said.

"I'll go watch training tomorrow and see how the boys are going.

"To see how the Socceroos are going (but also) to keep on learning. Everyone's got different ways of playing and different ways of doing things, to see Ange's way. He's been one of our most successful coaches in history in Australia and to see him work is good."

There was a reminder for Aloisi out on the field of the capricious nature of professional coaching, as Ante Milicic, the man he beat to the Heart job in 2012 and now Postecoglou's assistant, took the lead in preparing the national team for the World Cup in Brazil.

While Aloisi's first stint as head coach ended in disappointment and dismissal, Milicic's stock has continued to rise, with Postecoglou headhunting him after two stellar seasons with Tony Popovic at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Two years Aloisi's senior but yet to get a taste of the hot-seat himself, Milicic certainly has no complaints about the way the cards have fallen, as he gets ready to lock horns with his counterparts on the coaching staff of Vicente Del Bosque and Louis van Gaal.

"With Melbourne Heart that's in the past, it happens," Milicic said.

"Football always changes. I've learned one thing; not to look too far ahead. The situation has fallen right for me at this stage of my career."