Kevin Muscat is standing down as Melbourne Victory coach, saying the time is right to seek fresh opportunities.
Wednesday’s Asian Champions League clash with Sanfrecce Hiroshima will be the 45-year-old’s last as Victory coach after almost six years at the helm.
“I believe the time is right for me to refresh, and in time, seek a new opportunity after giving everything I’ve got emotionally and physically to Melbourne Victory,” Muscat said in a statement on Monday.
Muscat has been either Victory’s captain, assistant coach or coach during the first 14 seasons of the A-League.
He captained the club to the 2007 and 2009 A-League crowns and coached them to the 2015 and 2018 titles.
“This is not a decision made overnight or taken lightly,” Muscat said.
“We have created and earned many great memories along the way including our eight trophies.
“It goes without saying that I will love and support this football club and wish it nothing but success.”
Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro said it was a “unified decision” between Muscat and the club hierarchy.
“Kevin has been incredibly successful as both a player and coach and will go down as one of the most influential figures in Melbourne Victory’s history,” Di Pietro said in a statement.
“The parting was an ongoing collaboration and unified decision.”
Di Pietro said Victory’s planning to find a new coach was underway.
“Our priority will be to secure the right person … who fits our criteria to take our club forwards,” he said.
“This is an opportunity to reset and shape the next phase of our club, and we view this as an exciting prospect.”
German manager Marco Kurz, who was not offered a fresh contract at Adelaide United for the next A-League season, has been touted among the potential candidates to replace Muscat.