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Wellington Phoenix confirm Darije Kalezic as new head coach

Darije Kalezic
Darije Kalezic was most recently manager of Saudi Pro League club Al-Taawoun.

Wellington Phoenix have unveiled Darije Kalezic as their new coach, with Rado Vidosic his assistant.

After a playing career in Bosnia and the Netherlands, the 47-year-old Kalezic has had managerial stints in the Netherlands, Belgium, England -- with Stockport County -- and Saudi Pro League club Al-Taawoun.

Vidosic brings a proven A-League record to the Phoenix, with back-to-back championship titles during his time at Brisbane Roar alongside Ange Postecoglou, and another championship as an assistant at Melbourne Victory.

Kalezic and Vidosic replace Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre, who took over at the Phoenix helm after Ernie Merrick resigned eight weeks into last season.

Since confirmation of their signings in mid-May, Kalezic and Vidosic have begun the process of reviewing the Phoenix's playing roster, and are expecting to announce several player arrivals soon.

Phoenix general manager David Dome said Kalezic's ability to develop players as well as identify and recruit talent was a key component in his signing.

"There is no substitute for a coach with such wide-reaching connections and networks, especially within top European clubs," Dome said.

Kalezic's professional playing career spanned almost two decades with more than 10 seasons in the Dutch first division under managers such as Martin Jol.

Kalezic rose through the coaching ranks at Dutch club De Graafschap, first as a youth coach then rising to head coach and returning the club to the top division in his first full season in charge.

Dome said Kalezic and Vidosic combine as a high-calibre coaching duo who will complement the club's off-field advances.

"We believe Darije and Rado have the skills and passion to achieve very highly at the Phoenix," Dome said.


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