You have to think that Gary van Egmond had endured enough turmoil in his 32-month stint at the helm of the Newcastle Jets.
To some, it was no huge surprise when Van Egmond, an affable 44-year-old and former A-League coach of the year, this week handed in his resignation to outspoken Jets owner Con Constantine.
Any brownie points his side had earned from reaching the knockout phase of the AFC Champions League had evaporated in Pohang as the Steelers Poker Online Indonesia ran out 6-0 victors last week, eliminating them from the competition.
Such a heavy defeat would often be enough to prompt many trigger-happy chairmen to act or noncommittal managers to walk away – notwithstanding Van Egmond had recently penned a contract extension tying him to the Jets until 2013.
But revelations since that Korean nightmare have revealed Van Egmond’s hasty resignation wasn’t prompted solely by his under-prepared team’s ACL humiliation.
He already had his eye on exiting the club he helped transform from cellar dwellers to champions and had formally applied for a coaching position within Football Federation Australia, the game’s governing body.
As the application process proceeded, it became clear Van Egmond was the outstanding candidate for the role of working with some of the country’s finest rising stars, as Australian under-17 assistant coach and with a remit to guide the youngsters at the Australian Institute of Sport.
But whatever the ramifications of bringing Van Egmond into the FFA stable with an eye on his long-term coaching development within the national body, from the outside it appears unusual to move from a head coach’s position in the A-League to the lower ranks of the national side.
Van Egmond has been earmarked for a larger job since making an immediate splash when he took over at Newcastle in October 2006. The man known to all as ‘Dutchy’ led the Jets from the basement to the championship within 18 months and was labelled the brightest young manager in the Australian game.
But Newcastle’s title defence was a disaster. …Read More