John Anastasiadis’ long-awaited promotion to the A-League is a significant milestone for Australian coaches.
The former South Melbourne and Bentleigh Greens boss was favoured by many to land a professional gig and could pioneer a new wave of coaches making the step up.
It shows how the league’s expansion can act as a pathway for coaches – as well as players – from grassroots to the professional game.
This will no doubt galvanise existing NPL coaches as well as former players to be part of this new wave – here are a few names who could be in consideration for future A-League coaching roles.
George Katsakis (Heidelberg United – NPL Victoria)
There is not a whole lot for George Katsakis to do at NPL level – aside from winning the FFA Cup.
He has returned Heidelberg to its former glory, filling the club’s trophy cabinet and creating one of the most feared NPL sides in the country.
Under Katsakis the club has won the last two NPL Victoria premierships, one NPL Victoria Championship and an NPL National Championship.
Despite managing a semi-professional outfit Katsakis is no stranger to hectic schedules – having been forced to travel around Australia and at times play multiple matches in a week.
Like Anastasiadis – Katsakis may be considered in an assistant coaching role but it would nonetheless be a success with another Australian coach making their way up.
The 45-time Socceroo has been working away as manager of Adelaide City in South Australia’s NPL – winning two premierships.
Mori has one of the most decorated careers in Australian football – having won two Johnny Warren medals and being one of the best players NSL players of his time.
After 13 seasons in charge of Adelaide City, Mori resigned and despite revealing he had been approached for an A-League coaching role.
But the 49-year-old conceded he might be too old for a promotion to the professional ranks and is rumoured to take over as head coach of Adelaide Comets in NPL South Australia.
Australia’s golden boy in golden generation it would only be fitting to see Kewell back in Australia coaching.
After stints in England’s lower-leagues with Crawley Town and Notts County – as well as Watford’s Under 23’s – the former Socceroo has made a good start to his coaching career.
While his record at Notts County is not flattering, Kewell has made his ambitions for coaching clear and will no doubt be high on the list of candidates for A-League clubs.
His experience as a youth coach also adds another dimension – making him a favourable choice to take up a coaching position in Australia.
Another member of Australia’s golden generation – Vidmar played alongside some of the nation’s greatest ever players.
His passion for football continued to grow following his retirement as he wasted little time transitioning into coaching.
Like Kewell – Vidmar’s coaching background stems from youth sides, being apart of youth programs at Adelaide United, Football Federation of South Australia and at national level.
Currently fielding the position of Assistant coach at Melbourne City – Vidmar could be considered for a top job in the coming years as he continues to hone his craft at the professional level.