Half of A-League coaches gone this season

ANGELA HABASHY
Last updated 19:49 26/02/2013
Herbert
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END OF AN ERA: Ricki Herbert has resigned as coach of the Wellington Phoenix.

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For the first time in A-League history half of the coaches who began the season at the helm are gone, with Wellington mentor Ricki Herbert the latest casualty.

Never has a season ended with five different coaches from the 10 who started, as a lift in standard and increased publicity, in what's been the most exciting season to date, appear to be taking their toll.

Herbert, the A-league's longest-serving coach, ended a six-year tenure with the Phoenix today joining Sydney FC's Ian Crook and Adelaide's John Kosmina as the third mentor to resign.

Brisbane's Rado Vidosic and Perth's Ian Ferguson meanwhile were both axed by their clubs.

After leading Wellington to three finals series since taking the helm as the club's foundation coach in 2007, 51-year-old Herbert leaves them on the bottom of the ladder with just five wins so far this season.

"The results this year have not been what anyone would have wanted and I felt that it was time for someone else to take a fresh look at things at the club," Herbert conceded.

Herbert, who was appointed to an advisory role at the Phoenix upon his resignation, echoed the sentiments of Crook who fell on his sword after just six weeks in charge of the Sky Blues.

Crook, who was promoted from the youth team to replace Czech Vitezslav Lavicka, buckled under the pressure of his first stint as head coach in the senior ranks and struggled to cope with the added publicity the side received amid the arrival of Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero.

Crook guided Sydney to two wins in his short time but also suffered the club's biggest loss - a 7-2 defeat to Central Coast - before waving the white flag.

His resignation made way for Frank Farina to make his A-League coaching comeback as Sydney's seventh coach in eight years.

Kosmina, in his second stint at Adelaide, created shockwaves with his sudden exit last month, citing a "lack of trust" for his reason to step down.

He guided the Reds to 10 wins and two draws in 18 games, leaving the side in third spot where interim boss Michael Valkanis has managed to keep them.

Vidosic, who took over the Roar after Ange Postecoglou left for Melbourne Victory, paid the ultimate price for the defending champions' form slump, with former Gold Coast United boss Mike Mulvey taking the reigns in December.

Perth's dire run that sent last season's grand finalists to bottom place earlier this month led to Ferguson being axed, with the side looking rejuvenated under new coach Alistair Edwards.

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