Peter Tsolakis has resigned as head coach of South Melbourne FC.
Tsolakis said the club’s sacking of five players without his consultation was the reason for his decision to resign.
Last week, the South Melbourne board announced the release of first team players, Tom Matthews, Rhodri Payne, Joe Keenan, Seb Mattei and club captain Luke Byles.
Tsolakis spent one and a half years in charge of the South Melbourne squad and made 160 National Soccer League appearances as a South Melbourne player during the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Following Tsolakis’ resignation, South Melbourne announced that Chris Taylor has been appointed as head coach for the next two seasons. Taylor is joining the club from the reigning Victorian Premier League Champions Dandenong Thunder, who he was in charge of in 2012.
South Melbourne general manager Peter Kokotis said the shock resignation has forced the club to scramble into premature coach negotiations. “This has been a tumultuous week, but things have settled down very quickly,” he told Neos Kosmos.
“It came as a shock on Monday night when Peter (Tsolakis) resigned, but we reluctantly accepted his resignation.
“We had a task of moving very quickly to get someone to take over the helm of the club. Thankfully, being a club like South Melbourne, within 24 hours we received a number of applicants, from overseas as well. We had one man in mind, our first choice – and we got him.”
Now the club is looking to prepare for their next game on Sunday. “Our expectations from Chris are to match his expectations, and that is to be winners, to be dominant as we have been in periods of our history. Chris matches these ambitions. With ambitions, however, come all the attributes required to reach them. It’s one thing to have the ambition, but another to deliver it,” Kokotis said.
Taylor received the 2012 VPL Coach of the Year award. Earlier in his career, he led the Melbourne Knights to a VPL Grand Final appearance in 2008.
The club to review its position on NPL-V
The club also announced it is reviewing its position on the application to enter the new National Premier League structure.
In June 2012, the club endorsed the general principles and direction that football was taking under the FFA and FFV’s transition to the NPL structure, and had informed the Football Federation of Victoria it would be proposing appropriate changes so that the model would appeal to most clubs.
However, as stated in the club’s media release, concerns have been accumulating the last twelve months with the process and consultation undertaken by the FFV Board.
South Melbourne expressed its disappointment that none of the key recommendations proposed by the clubs for changes to the model were accepted. The changes are required to ensure the financial viability of the new league and to maximise the quality of the competition.
“One of the key concerns of the clubs which have either not submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI), or have since indicated an intention to withdraw their EOI, is the financial and operational structure of the clubs taking part in the proposed NPL-V and the proposed competition itself. The clubs have been vindicated in their concerns by the FFV Board announcement on Tuesday 2 July to the participants which lodged an EOI, that the Small Sided Football competition cannot be included in this state. This is in direct contrast to the NPL structures in New South Wales, Tasmania, and South Australia,” it is said in the media release.
The club expressed its concern that this decision by the FFV Board will now bring a further exodus of clubs which are not prepared to risk their club’s financial integrity and security.