Gone! A-League suffers season’s first coaching casualty
WELLINGTON Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic has departed the club, with Chris Greenacre set to deputise for the remainder of the A-League season.
On March 1, the Phoenix had confirmed it would part ways with the coach at the end of the season.
But now, that has happened immediately, with the Phoenix confirming in a statement on Thursday the decision to part ways now was to allow "any potential replacement the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the current player group" for the remainder of the season.
"Since the club and I weren't able to find mutual agreement on how to proceed in the future, my professional belief is that the next coach should be provided with (the) opportunity to lead the team for the remaining of the season in order to have enough time to create his opinion about current squad and his own action plan on how to proceed in the season to come," Kalezic said in a statement.
"I would like to thank the club and the staff for their support and especially the city's loyal fans, Yellow Fever, for their passion."
"I have had (a) great experience in New Zealand - I came with big determination and energy for this project and I continue to believe that success can come for this football club."
Kalezic joined the club ahead of the 2017/18 season, with Rado Vidosic his high-profile assistant.
But in December, Vidosic and his son Dario both departed the club, while Gui Finkler quit Wellington earlier that month.
The Phoenix currently sit at the bottom of the table with just four wins, 17 points and a goal difference of -18 to their name.
"Head Coach of the Wellington Phoenix, Darije Kalezic, wishes to announce that he will not be continuing as Head Coach of the club next season," the Phoenix said in the statement on March 1.
"The parties were not able to find a mutual agreement on how to proceed forward and because of this have decided to move in separate directions.
"Darije wishes the best for the Club and fans in the seasons to come."