Wellington Phoenix have appointed former Sydney FC captain Mark Rudan as their new head coach, to replace Darije Kalezic. Follow all our latest World Cup Betting Tips here.
Kalezic left before the end of disappointing 2017-18 season which saw the team finish ninth, one place above wooden spooners Central Coast Mariners.
Rudan has enjoyed a successful playing career including stints in Germany, China, Japan and Switzerland and now signed a two-year-deal in his first coaching job in his first Hyundai A-League.
The announcement was made on Wednesday with the 42-year-old expected to relish the chance to mould the New Zealand group that will not settle for anything less than the top six.
But the club also needs to make substantial improvements to off-field metrics such as crowd and broadcasting figures, if they are to be granted a further three-year A-League license.
The highly rated Australian who has two seasons to turn the club around was impressive in his first press conference on Wednesday.
“I’ve kept a keen eye on clubs like this and it’s certainly one that needs to change in a lot of areas and there will be changes. Not just the players and staff, but all stakeholders involved will understand exactly where we’re headed on and off the park
“There will be certain non-negotiables along the way, but at the same time it’s not a dictatorship. I want to see a change in this football club, from you guys sitting here to the fans to everybody externally, how they view the club, what they stand for.”
Rudan made a name for himself in Australian football in both the NSL and A-League, will find his first task to hand will be to add to the 11 players the club currently have on its books.
Phoenix Chairman Rob Morrison said Rudan was the right man to lead Phoenix to become a Hyundai A-League powerhouse.