Two-time Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year Ernie Merrick has today been appointed as Head Coach of the Newcastle Jets.
Merrick joins the Jets as the Club’s Head Coach on a two-season contract through to the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season.
The Edinburgh-born manager who immigrated to Australia in 1975 will arrive in Newcastle with a wealth of experience to his name.
Indeed Merrick won two Premierships and two Championships with competition heavyweights Melbourne Victory in 2007 and 2009, before linking with the Hong Kong National Team for a year.
The 2014 Order of Australia recipient then presided over Wellington Phoenix for three seasons, helping steer the Club from the land of the long white cloud to the Hyundai A-League Finals Series in 2015.
All told Merrick has managed 241 games in the Hyundai A-League - the most of any manager in the competition’s history - and has secured wins or draws in over 60 per cent of his fixtures.
Today Merrick spoke of his delight at being back in charge of coaching a Hyundai A-League Club.
“Newcastle Jets is a great Club and is based in a region which has an outstanding football history,” Merrick said.
“I believe that the Club has all the necessary ingredients for on-field success with a strong core of good quality players, a very competent staff, excellent facilities, and most importantly a wealth of extremely passionate fans.
“My role is to continue to resource and build the squad, engage with the community and to re-establish the Club as a major competitor in the Hyundai A-League.
“I very much appreciate this exciting opportunity that owner Martin Lee and CEO Lawrie McKinna have given me to commit to this challenge,” he said.
Newcastle Jets Chief Executive Officer Lawrie McKinna said Merrick’s Hyundai A-League experience and record stood out from a large pack of highly credentialed candidates.
“At this point in the Club’s development we believe it is crucial that someone with a deep understanding of the Hyundai A-League both on and off the pitch takes charge of our first team and football department,” McKinna said.
“Ernie brings this in spades, and not only the first team but everyone associated with the Club should benefit from his knowledge, experience, and winning mentality in some way,” he said.
Merrick is currently in the United Kingdom visiting family however he will relocate to Newcastle in the coming weeks to formally commence his role with the Club.
Newcastle Jets begin pre-season training for the 2017/18 season on Monday 26 June 2017.