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Manager candidates the Melbourne Victory could target

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Roar Guru
15th August, 2020

After a disappointing end to the 2019-20 campaign for the Melbourne Victory, the club’s first matter of business as they head into the offseason is to appoint a new manager.

With the arduous task of rebuilding one of the largest clubs in the A-League that has seen managers and key players alike depart, here are some potential managers that could take the club forward.

Carl Valeri
A two-time premiership captain during his time at the club, Valeri showed he was an on-field leader who could bring the same assets to the dugout as the next Victory coach. While he lacks managerial experience, the Victory have had success before in appointing a former captain (Kevin Muscat) as their manager.

Currently working for the Victory in a role with the focusing on leadership, culture and welfare, Valeri could be an ideal person to take on the role. With a former championship-winning captain you have a man who the fans will respect and be willing to be patient with for success.

Grant Brebner
Having taken on the role as the club’s second interim manager this season, Brebner was a left with a club partly comprising Y-League players since most of Victory’s senior players either departed or would miss the rest of the season injured. Though he only managed one win in his short stint, there were signs that the young team could play way under his guidance as manager.

While he’d prefer to sit back as the assistant and build up experience, he should be rewarded with the gig full-time going forward.

Ernie Merrick
While it won’t be a popular choice if the Victory were to assign the Scotsman as the next manager given how his first stint as Victory manager ended, you can’t deny this man’s credentials as a manager in the A-League. His ability to take the Newcastle Jets, who finished bottom the previous season, to a grand final in 2018 and falling just short of a championship and the titles he won as manager of the Victory shows he can rebuild a squad.

Though his stints often end in sackings, they often bring success too.

Tony Popovic
Having been involved in the coaching and management field of Australian football since 2008, Popovic has a wealth of experience and success as a manager. Since taking on a managerial role as the inaugural coach of the Western Sydney Wanderers in 2012, Popovic has brought success wherever he’s gone winning the AFC Champions League, Premier Plates and making grand final appearances as manager of the Wanderers and Perth Glory.


Popovic is yet to win a title and maybe his tenure with Victory could bring that in future seasons if appointed.

Tony Popovic

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

Arthur Papas
While he is a young manager at age 40, Papas has worldwide experience in coaching and management. Since taking on the managerial role of the Oakleigh Cannons of the Victorian NPL in 2010 aged only 30, has gone on to coach the India U23s and clubs in India and Saudi Arabia before joining former Victory coach Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama Marinos in the J-League as an assistant coach.

Having been an assistant, Papas is looking to break out on his own and could be an ideal manager for the Victory, a young, hungry manager looking to invigorate a younger playing squad.

John Aloisi
Aloisi is no stranger to A-League management. While his managerial stint with the then Melbourne Heart between May 2012 and December 2013 was a disaster, he had a good run with the Brisbane Roar, who made the finals under his tutelage every season before his resignation as manager in late 2018 during the 2018-19 campaign.

Having coached at youth level previously with the Heart he also coached the Victory’s youth team and served as an assistant coach. Coaching both at the senior and youth levels is an invaluable experience which could see him be a success in rebuilding a young side.

He’s been linked with the job since the departure of Marco Kurz and will be the most likely person to take on the role as next Victory coach.