A-League: Jets boss keen to appoint new coach quickly

NEWCASTLE Jets chief executive Lawrie McKinna has not put a time frame on finding a replacement for Mark Jones but hopes to appoint a new coach quickly.

Jones was axed on Sunday after the Jets slumped to a sixth-straight loss to finish last.

The Jets want to fill the position before the squad breaks for holidays on May 5. That would also give them the best chance in the player market. The preference is for an experienced coach but McKinna said a number of factors needed to be considered.

 “It will depend on who wants to come and is in a position to come in,” McKinna said. “Some will be desperate for a chance, some motivated by money, others may not want the hassle. There will be some who can see what the club is trying to do and want to lead it.”

Two-time Victory championship-winner Ernie Merrick heads the list of experienced coaches available. He resigned from Wellington in December after failing to get the best out of a star-studded squad.

Thailand-based Aurelio Vidmar (Bangkok Glass) and former Brisbane Roar championship-winner Mike Mulvey (Terengganu, Malaysia) expressed interest when Jones was appointed. 

Josep Gambau and Ante Milicic are highly credentialed but are part of Ange Postecoglou’s Socceroo’s coaching staff aiming to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

Of the coaches untried at A-League level, Damian Mori, Mark Rudan, Arthur Papas and Tony Vidmar appear next in line.

English Premier League managers Claudio Ranieri and Alan Pardew have been suggested as possibilities but appear unlikely due to cost. Ranieri was on nearly $2.5 million a season at Leicester before he won the title. Pardew was on the same money at Crystal Palace.