The smiles returned at the Victory camp after Saturday’s emphatic victory over Perth Glory (4-0).
According to a leading player of the Melbourne team, “It is time now to decide on the coach who will lead Victory to the top, because the recent positions on the ladder do not match the dynamics of the team and also don’t match the history that made the team famous in the new national league.”
The big favourite for the leading role is 40-year-old Greek-Australian Arthur Papas.
As Neos Kosmos published last Thursday, the relatively young coach is Victory’s first choice and according to our sources, both sides have had three “online interactions” where details were discussed, allowing the expatriate coach to form some good impressions and gain the trust of the team.
TALKS WILL RESUME ON MONDAY NIGHT
According to our trusted sources, there will be new talks between Papas and Victory’s Anthony Di Pietro, scheduled for tonight and may be the last before an official announcement.
Papas is currently part of the coaching team of the Japanese champions Yokohama FM and a close associate and assistant of Ange Postecoglou.
In the last few days Victory’s people have been gathering information about Papas and talking to people who have worked with him previously.
One being the general manager of the Oakleigh Cannons Akis Ionnas, who knows Papas well as he coached the Cannons twice, leading then to their first ever state final.
Akis Ionnas politely avoided telling Neos Kosmos what exactly was discussed with the people of Victory but offered his well wishes.
“I wish Arthur good luck. He deserves the position,” he said.
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Victory however got their initial information about the possible future coach from Postecoglou, who on a training front knows Papas better than anyone else.
Papas could not be reached for comment Saturday night due to a Yokohama game.
A person from his close circle told Neos Kosmos:
“Basically, Victory made the first contact with Arthur to see if he was interested in the position of head coach. He did not take the first step himself as he is happy with the position he now has next to Ange Postecoglou. He accepted, however, with pleasure to follow the whole process of getting to know the team.
From what I know personally, what he is most concerned about at the moment is Yokohama.”
It is worth mentioning that another one of Victory’s choices is Socceroos veteran and former Brisbane Roar mentor John Alois, who excelled as a footballer but has little experience as a coach in his career.
But you never know…
Especially in football, where surprises are common.
*Translated by Marianna Alepidis