Ernie Merrick has been appointed as the new head coach of the Wellington Phoenix.
Merrick, 60, replaces former manager Ricki Herbert who resigned in February after a bad run of results left the Phoenix in last place. Today's appointment makes Merrick the second ever coach at the club.
Speaking at a press conference at Westpac Stadium this afternoon Merrick said he is happy with the squad he has inherited and believes they can play an attractive brand of football.
"I believe there is a lot of talent in this country. The team is very strong," he said
"The core of the squad is good."
"Football is about winning and about putting on a show."
The Wellington-based club received over 300 applications including ones from the Middle East and Europe but Phoenix chairman Rob Morrison said Merrick was someone who knows what it takes to win.
"We wanted someone who could turn around the team's performance next season and that means getting to the play-offs."
You have to select the person who meets the criteria for this club," Morrison said.
"We did interview some top coaches from right around the world but Ernie ticked all the boxes," says Morrison.
"We don't want to buy our way to success, we want to earn it and Ernie is certainly on board with that," He adds
Merrick won A-League titles with Melbourne Victory in 2007 and 2009, before he was sacked in 2011 after failing to live up to the board's expectations in the A-League and Asian Champions League.
He also managed the Hong Kong national side.
Who is Ernie Merrick?
- Age: 60
- Born: Edinburgh
- Melbourne Victory coach Dec 2004-Mar 2011
Two A-League titles - 2007 and 2009
Twice A-League manager of the year - 2007 and 2010
In charge for 151 games
National coach of Hong Kong Dec 2011-Oct 2012