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19 Mar 2018 6:09
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  •   Home > News > National

    Phoenix's Kalezic departs as head coach

    Wellington Phoenix have confirmed that Darije Kalezic will not see out the A-League season, with former striker Chris Greenacre taking over coaching duties.

    Wellington Phoenix will finish the season yet again under interim coach Chris Greenacre, the third time in five years the ex-striker has stepped into a stand-in role at the A-League club.

    Darije Kalezic announced last week he wouldn't continue in his role next season after a disappointing tenure that has returned four wins, five draws and 12 losses.

    He initially appeared ready to see out the six games remaining in the season, but a Phoenix statement on Thursday said the Dutchman would now finish up with immediate effect.

    Both parties agreed it was in the club's best interests to make a decision swiftly.

    This would allow any potential replacement the chance to familiarise themselves with the current player group for the remainder of this year's campaign as the club looks to rebuild for next season, the statement said.

    Kalezic said the decision was made with the club's best interests at heart.

    "I would like to thank the club and the staff for their support, and especially the city's loyal fans, Yellow Fever, for their passion," he said.

    "I have had a great experience in New Zealand - I came with big determination and energy for this project, and I continue to believe that success can come for this football club."

    Greenacre, who scored 17 goals in an 84-match career at the Phoenix, filled in for five games in February 2013 when coach Ricki Herbert resigned.

    Alongside Des Buckingham, he also stepped up after Ernie Merrick's ninth-round resignation in December 2016.

    The Phoenix, who had a bye last weekend, travel across the ditch to meet sixth-placed Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday.


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