Muscat tipped to manage Melbourne - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Muscat tipped to manage Melbourne

By Guy Hand 30/07/2009 05:33:25 PM Comments (0)

Melbourne Victory will contemplate a Mick Malthouse-Nathan Buckley style coaching handover allowing Kevin Muscat to eventually succeed Ernie Merrick at the A-League champions.

Muscat, 36 next week, is expected to play one more season before retiring, and is then contracted for a further two years as an assistant coach.

With AFL club Collingwood this week unveiling the grand plan for Buckley to take over from Malthouse in 2012, it has raised questions of whether a similar succession plan could work at the Victory.

While no script has yet been written, the prospect of Muscat eventually coaching the club he has become synonymous with - either alongside Merrick or highly-rated assistant Aaron Healey, or in his own right - looks inevitable.

"Kevin will definitely coach Melbourne Victory at some stage in his career - it might mean he has to get experience somewhere else but he wants to do a solid apprenticeship," Merrick told AAP.

"He'll have to earn his stripes, and Kevin wouldn't want it any other way.

"He's started all his coaching badges, and I'd say in the future at the new stadium (which the club moves to in 2010-11), he's going to be a major part whether it be as a player or as a coach."

Merrick, 56, says he is enjoying his coaching more than ever going into the new season next week and has no plans to call it quits.

He is close to a contract extension which would extend beyond this season, and with two championships under his belt, Merrick would appear to have a job with the Victory as long as he wants it.

Muscat's excellent professional and personal relationship with Merrick increases the prospect of the pair working in harmony once Muscat's playing days are finished.

Merrick has been instrumental in getting Muscat to undertake coaching courses, and to make his latest deal with the Victory a combined playing-coaching one.

Muscat is thinking about his post-playing life, but is adamant he wants the right apprenticeship before taking on a head coaching role.

And he admitted to some amusement at the hullabaloo about Collingwood's announcement this week, joking the Magpies may have pinched the idea from his A-League club.

"They've unveiled it, but I think we probably did it a couple of months back," Muscat said of his latest contract.

"Ernie's been by far the most successful recent Australian coach, we have a great relationship, and long may it continue."

The only area where the pair would appear to disagree is the length of Muscat's playing career - Merrick keen to entice his skipper to play on for two more seasons before considering fulltime coaching.

"Everyone seems to think Kevin's deal is one year playing, two years coaching, but I'm going to work on it so it's two years playing, one year coaching," Merrick said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

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