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Dec 04, 2016   |  10:36PM AET

Merrick steps down as Wellington Phoenix Head Coach

Merrick steps down as Wellington Phoenix Head Coach

Ernie Merrick has stepped down from his position as Wellington Phoenix FC Head Coach.

The club would like to thank Ernie for his contribution to Wellington Phoenix and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Ernie has been a consummate professional since the day he arrived at Wellington Phoenix and was instrumental in overhauling the way the team performed on the field and how it conducted itself off the field.

He played a significant role in the development of young players through the Phoenix academy, who are now breaking into the first team and representing New Zealand at international level.

The two-time A-League champion felt that with recent results he had taken the team as far as he could.

“I take full responsibility for position the team is currently in,” Merrick said.

“I feel that I have not performed well enough as Head Coach, as we have a very strong squad that should be higher up the table.

“It’s therefore the right time for me to step aside and allow someone else to take over. We have a run of home games coming up and I think this will give my successor the best opportunity to take the team forward.

“I’d like to thank everyone at Wellington Phoenix for the past three years and particularly Welnix, the Chairman and the board who have been nothing but supportive during this time.”

The club understands the decision and thanks Merrick for the hard work and dedication he has put in during the past three years.

Wellington Phoenix will now undergo a thorough process to appoint a new Head Coach.

Both Chris Greenacre and Des Buckingham have been appointed as joint interim Head Coaches during this process.