Wellington Phoenix unveiled Darije Kalezic as their new A-League head coach on Wednesday.
Kalezic, 47, heads to New Zealand after a coaching career mostly spent in Netherlands, although his most recent job was a brief stint with Al-Taawon in Saudi Arabia.
He replaces Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre, who shared coaching responsibilities for most of last season after Ernie Merrick quit in December.
The Phoenix have also appointed the experienced Rado Vidosic as Kalezic’s assistant for the 2017-18 season and beyond, the club said.
“We will use our network, we will use our skill to find the players within [the Phoenix’s] budget,” Kalezic told a news conference.
“We already started to recruit some players for some positions… we have to take time for that process, we have to make smart decisions.”
— Wellington Phoenix (@WgtnPhoenixFC) June 6, 2017
Buckingham and Greenacre applied for the job at the completion of the 2016-17 campaign but the Phoenix revealed last month that they had missed out.
It remains unclear whether they will stay on next season in their original roles as goalkeeping coach and assistant coach, respectively.
Kalezic becomes Wellington’s third permanent coach after Rickie Herbert and Merrick.
With Merrick having joined Newcastle Jets since the end of the season and Kalezic now at the Phoenix, only Adelaide United and Melbourne City are yet to appoint new coaches for 2017-18.
Kalezic’s first job will be to strengthen Wellington’s squad, with Player of the Year Kosta Barbarouses, key midfielder Roly Bonevacia and veteran goalkeeper Glen Moss among the seven players to have departed.
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