John Aloisi has pipped fellow former Socceroo Ante Milicic to be named head coach of the Melbourne Heart.
Aloisi will replace John Van’t Schip in the dugout for next season after just one year of coaching experience. The 36-year old was in charge of the Heart’s youth side last season and they finished fourth in the National Youth League.
Aloisi was duelling with Heart assistant coach Milici for the top job, and now Milicic may depart to join the new Western Sydney A-League club.
The first Australian to play top flight football in the three best leagues in the world – the Serie A, La Liga and the English Premier League – Aloisi is best known for scoring the winning penalty against Uruguay in the World Cup qualifier in 2005.
The Adelaide-born coach, who has 55 caps for Australia, had playing stints with Central Coast, Sydney FC and the Heart in the A-League. He retired from playing at the end of the 2010-2011 season and will be the youngest coach in the competition next season.
Milicic is also a former Socceroo, with six caps for Australia, and played for the Newcastle Jets and Brisbane Roar in the A-League.
The 38-year has more coaching experience than Aloisi after two seasons with Sydney United in the NSW Premier League, serving as an assistant coach for the Young Socceroos 2009-2011 and spending two seasons as an assistant to Van’t Schip at the Heart.
It is believed Aloisi’s marketability and high profile helped him get over the line for the job. The Heart may appoint a senior assistant or experienced older coach to help Aloisi in his new role.