Phoenix coach Mark Rudan will miss the final year of his contract and open the door to a possible move to Western United.
If he can lead the team deep into the A-League playoffs, Mark Rudan will leave Wellington Phoenix as the club's best coach.
That's according to his best player, with Phoenix icon Paul Ifill saying that Rudan's confirmed appearance is no surprise. Despite his success, he is still a "heavy blow" after bringing new life to the club after three gloomy seasons.
Ifill glowered at Rudan because he believed that as a Phoenix coach he had ticked all the boxes. He said the yardstick to measure the true success of a coach was whether he left the club in a better position than he had found, and Ifill was stubborn as was Rudan's. Wellington was still defeated by Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar despite a first playoff appearance in 2015.
"He's played a big part in changing people's careers, so you're often measured as a coach, what did you do for your players, what did you do for your club, and what did you do for your city? His heritage is to leave the place better and better than you have found him, and even if he left today, he would get a big golden star for what he has achieved to this point, "Ifill said.
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"If he can go deep into the playoffs, I think we'll probably look back and go, he's the best manager we've ever had."
Although the club does not publicly acknowledge Rudan's departure, a joint statement is due to be released on Monday. stuff On Friday he confirmed that Rudan had finally informed the Phoenix that he would not make out the last year of his two-year contract and end the speculative months about his future.
The two main reasons for his decision were the desire to be with his family, who stayed in Sydney throughout his term in Phoenix, and the lack of ambition of the club's owners, whom he publicly challenged.
Western United, Adelaide United and Macarthur South-West Sydney are all possible destinations, with the expansion club Western, which pursues Rudan since the beginning of the year, the favorite to secure his signature.
"If he leaves, I wish him well, because he was amazing for football in this country," said Ifill.
"I've met him several times and he's a real straight dough. What you see is what you get, and he carries his heart on his sleeve and tells it how he sees it, and I like that. I was already there He's a big fan right from the start and will be disappointing, especially if he's a rival, and I personally like his style of play, the way he talks about football and how he feels about football. "
While Rudan's family situation was the ultimate deal breaker, Ifill wondered if the club could have done more to retain the 43-year-old, and his demands for increased investment fell on deaf ears.
"He had a tremendous job in his hands and I think he knew it went in, but I held on to everything the whole way, let's enjoy it as long as it is because someone is as ambitious as he, if everyone else is not as ambitious as he is, then it would end only one-sidedly.
"He was interested in bigger and better things and of course that's disappointing because I love the club, but I think we'll find each other there.
"He challenged the people upstairs and said," I'm ambitious, I want to do that and I want that and we're looking for a way to do it. "I'm not going to tell you that I know the ins and outs because I do not, but it's pretty clear that they did not meet in the middle because Mark is leaving now.
"There are obviously problems with his family, and obviously this will have an impact, but if the club was ambitious, it might have been another conversation, but it's hard to know what's going on at the board level, so I prefer I do Do not speculate too much about it, it's very disappointing that he's leaving, but I understand why he's leaving. "
With only six registered players for the upcoming season, there is now concern that numerous players, including strikers Roy Krishna and David Williams, could follow Rudan out the door. Ifill said it was imperative for the club to act now to prevent a mass escape.
"That's definitely not ideal, the club has to finish quickly, there's no doubt about that," he said.
"But we knew this situation could come in. The club knew that this situation could happen, this is one of those things where it can be replaced early enough by a coach with a similar philosophy to mitigate the blow It's going to be very difficult, they've managed to find someone who has checked all the boxes, and that happens very rarely. "