So who is Ernie Merrick, the next coach of the Newcastle Jets?
He’s a two time coach of the year, and won two A-League championships with the Melbourne Victory. He’s done some time with the Wellington Phoenix as well… in fact, the A-League has been going 12 seasons, and he’s coached in 10 of them.
So Merrick knows the strengths and limitations of the salary cap, the player market, and what he can and can’t do.
Some will be critical of his time at Wellington, given he resigned as their coach last year.
But Graham Arnold says coaching them, not us, is the hardest job in the A-League. And to be honest, some of the names people think are better candidates – you know what? They may not actually have wanted the job.
So why did he get the gig?
You could say he’s the safe choice for a Newcastle Jets team, that’s had three new coaches in the last three years, and needed an experienced head this time round.
But it’s also part of the club’s strategy – they need more people on board, who have actually experienced what it’s like to win.
Because the biggest complaint inside the camp at the end of last season was that the players totally lost confidence, and the belief they could win.
So now, you’ll have Merrick, who knows what it’s like to win an A-League title.
So does the CEO Lawrie McKinna. That’s a good start.
Now the job goes to recruiting those winning players… and winning back the fans.
Something Merrick has already stated in this morning’s announcement… as one of his priorities.
JR The Sports Guy