Previous
AFC Bournemouth
Everton
3
1
FT
Game Details
Watford
Arsenal
0
2
LIVE 50'
Game Details
Next
Melbourne VictoryMelbourne Victory
Sanfrecce HiroshimaSanfrecce Hiroshima
1
3
FT
Game Details
Sydney FCSydney FC
Melbourne VictoryMelbourne Victory
6
1
FT
Game Details
Daegu FCDaegu FC
Melbourne VictoryMelbourne Victory
4
0
FT
Game Details
Melbourne VictoryMelbourne Victory
Wellington Phoenix FCWellington Phoenix FC
3
1
FT
Game Details

Muscat 'happy to wait' for next opportunity

Western United FC show a glimpse of the preparations going into their debut season in the A-League.

Last Wednesday, Melbourne Victory played a match for the first time in its 15-year history without counting Kevin Muscat as a member of staff.

Muscat, the former Socceroos captain, was Victory's foundation captain, who on retirement went straight to the backroom team.

Succeeding his friend and confidant Ange Postecoglou as senior coach, Muscat presided over Victory for almost six years; the longest and most successful spell at the league's most biggest club.

That is, until May, when he called time on his Victory tenure after more than 400 appearances as player or coach.

So where was he for Victory's first match without him, an FFA Cup tie with Newcastle Jets?

"It was my birthday," he told AAP. "So I went out with a few people. I must admit I didn't watch it."

- Newcastle Jets star given leave to pursue rap career
- A-League fixture: Melbourne Derby to open season
- Robbie Fowler wins first match as Brisbane Roar boss

And what is he doing next?

"I'm taking a lot of coffees," he says, with a wide grin.

It's a rare coach that hangs up his whistle without another job lined up, but Muscat has always done things his own way.

The 46-year-old isn't likely to be seen back at Victory any time soon, giving new boss Marco Kurz clean air to put his stamp on the club.

Kurz was appointed as Muscat's successor in June, beating overseas candidates and locals including John Aloisi to the role.

Muscat, on his wishes, wasn't consulted on the decision.

There's no bad blood between the two, despite obvious philosophical differences between the single-minded Muscat and the pragmatic German.

The last conversation the pair had was typical of the hot-headed pair; shouted from opposing dugouts at Coopers Stadium in April when Kurz's Adelaide United beat Muscat's Victory 1-0.

Muscat hasn't spoken to Kurz since his appointment and doesn't plan to unless the German instigates contact.

That meeting seems more likely to happen informally -- Kurz has coincidentally chosen Albert Park, the leafy bayside southern suburb where Muscat resides, to be his base in Melbourne.

Right now, as unlikely as it seems given Muscat's hyper-combative reputation, the 46-year-old is happy to be taking a break.

"My first break in seven years," he said. "Before, when I went overseas between seasons I'd be getting up early. Checking emails, watching players, talking about recruitment, even if I was by a pool somewhere."

The future of Muscat, 46, has been in focus since he dropped a hint last year that he was pondering a life after Victory.

Prior to the Christmas Derby against Melbourne City, his 200th game as Victory coach, he told AAP he would sit down with club owners at season's end and discuss the future despite having a year on his contract.

That conversation, days after the club's 6-1 semifinal humbling by arch rivals Sydney FC, led to a handshake and an amicable parting of ways.

Melbourne Victory's Kevin Muscat
Kevin Muscat is assessing his options after parting ways with Melbourne Victory.

Since then, Muscat -- a long-term Liverpool fan -- enjoyed a holiday in Europe, making it to Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for the European Champions League final to see the Reds lift their sixth European title.

After a few weeks in the Mediterranean sun before returning to Melbourne, both Australian football and Muscat himself are wondering what's next.

After all, Muscat's achievements sit him on the top tier of Australia's football coaching talent, with Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic, Postecoglou and Socceroos boss Graham Arnold.

Muscat could end up heading to Japan to spend some time with Postecoglou's rebuilt J.League force Yokohama F. Marinos, given the pair's alignment on attacking, possession-based football.

There's the prospect of returning to England or Scotland, where he spent a decade playing professionally.

That pedigree means he's more likely in the short term to pop up on television screen analysing his coaching colleagues rather than joining him.

"Let's see," he said, again wide-eyed. "There are plenty of possibilities out there. I'm happy to wait for the right one."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.