Coach of Melbourne City’s A-League championship gets top job in the WSL

Coach of Melbourne City’s A-League championship gets top job in the WSL

Dario Vidosic has followed in the footsteps of an Australian legend after the Liberty A-League Premiership-winning coach left Melbourne City to become head coach of Women’s Super League (WSL) team Brighton and Hove Albion.

Vidosic has secured a top job in the English WSL after leading City to the Premier’s Plate and a Grand Final appearance in his first full season at the helm, while also securing qualification for the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League.

The 37-year-old is the second City coach to move up from the club’s women’s team to the WSL after Joe Montemurro was lured to the English top flight from top team Arsenal in 2017.

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Coach of Melbourne City’s A-League championship gets top job in the WSL

Montemurro, who completed a historic unbeaten season at the helm of City, led the Gunners to the WSL title in 2018/19 before winning a historic treble with Juventus in 2021/22. He is now the coach of arguably the biggest team in women’s football – Lyon.

“It is a bittersweet moment for me to take on this exciting new challenge after the incredible two seasons I have spent with this team. Winning the Premier’s Plate this season and qualifying for the inaugural AFC Women’s Champions League is something I will never forget,” said Vidosic.

“I leave behind a truly special group of players and staff who I am confident will go on to achieve great things.

“I am extremely grateful for the support I have received during my time at City, from my time as a player through to my time as head coach, and wish the team and the club every success for the future.”

Vidosic – a 23-time Socceroo who played in the A-Leagues for Brisbane Roar, Adelaide United, Western Sydney Wanderers, Wellington Phoenix and City after stints overseas with teams such as Nurnberg and Sion – took charge of Melbourne City’s Liberty A-League side after his father Rado was appointed head coach of Isuzu UTE A-League.

City flourished under Dario Vidosic at the helm and his exciting style of football led to their first league title since 2020.

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The Australian moves to Brighton to permanently replace Melissa Phillips, who was sacked in February.

Vidosic will not be the only Australian at the club. Matildas defender and former Sydney FC star Charlize Rule also plays for the Seagulls.

Brighton finished ninth in the WSL in 2023–24.

“Dario has brought an extraordinary culture to our team this season, the likes of which I have never seen in my many years in the sport,” said City CEO Brad Rowse.

“We played phenomenal football but it was the team spirit, the togetherness and the attitude of this group that stood out the most and that is a testament to Dario’s leadership qualities.

“While we are disappointed to lose a head coach of Dario’s caliber, we know how important it is for our staff and players to take advantage of these opportunities. And we will continue to provide a platform that allows those around us to grow, succeed and advance in their respective careers.”

Vidosic is the first Australian head coach in the WSL since Montemurro left Arsenal at the end of the 2020/21 season, although Aaron D’Antino has worked as an assistant coach for the Gunners since 2018.

Director of Football Michael Petrillo added: “Dario embodies the values ​​of our club, demonstrating a commitment to excellence, an incredible understanding of City’s style of play and a relentless pursuit of continued development and success.

“His achievements with us underline why he is so highly regarded not only internally but worldwide.

“The fact that he has emerged as a candidate for one of England’s biggest clubs is testament to his leadership qualities, his achievements and the style of football the team has shown under his leadership.

“Dario is already an exceptional coach and he has all the prerequisites to one day be one of the best in the world. We wish him every success.”