Interim City coach Michael Valkanis during the round 14 A-League match between Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park
Interim City coach Michael Valkanis during the round 14 A-League match between Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park JULIAN SMITH

A-League coaching audition extended to season's end

FOOTBALL: Michael Valkanis will remain as Melbourne City coach for the remainder of the 2016-2017 season.

The Melbourne-born 42-year-old took over from John van't Schip in early January when the long-time City boss quit to return to the Netherlands to help care for his sick father.

Van't Schip's dad passed away last week.

In the three games since Valkanis has been in the caretaker role, City has recorded two home wins and an away loss to Adelaide.

They next play Newcastle in Coffs Harbour on Friday night.

"The next few months represent an important period for the first team," Valkanis said.

"The players and staff collectively recognise the challenge and opportunity that the second half of the season presents and I am incredibly motivated by the responsibility and the opportunity to guide the team for the remainder of the campaign."

The announcement is not necessarily an indicator of City's plans beyond this season.

But, with just 11 games remaining in the season plus finals, City vice-chairman Simon Pearce intimated in the club's press release that it was prudent to stay the course.

"As a club we are completely focused on achieving the remaining objectives we set ourselves for the season," Pearce said.

"In the board's view Michael's appointment puts us in the very best possible position to do that."

The City Football Group's overarching football manager, Brian Marwood, added: "Michael has been a key member of our coaching structure this season.

"His approach and philosophy are completely aligned with the way we want Melbourne City to be managed.

"This, combined with his A-League experience and tactical capabilities, make him the right person to lead the team for the remainder of the season."

News Corp Australia

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