New assistant coach begins at Phoenix

EXPERIENCED Australian coach Luciano Trani has begun work at Wellington Phoenix FC as the first of two assistants to Phoenix head coach Ricki Herbert.

Trani joins the Phoenix from Football Federation Victoria, where he was coaching instructor since 2007, and Pascoe Vale FC, where he was head coach. He has previously coached at Victorian Premier League and National Soccer League level with the Fawkner Blues, Essendon Royals, Whittlesea Stallions, Brisbane Strikers and the Melbourne Knights.

The 43-year-old has undertaken his new duties immediately as the Phoenix gear up for their third season in the Hyundai A-League. Trani will work closely with Herbert alongside the Phoenix-s first team, help develop training sessions and take charge of technical analysis and the assessment of opposition teams.

“I-m pleased and excited by this opportunity,” Trani said. “Coaching at Hyundai A-League level is something that I-ve always aspired to and thankfully the Phoenix have given me that chance.”

Trani said Herbert had clearly spelt out what was expected.

“For me it-ll be about imparting my knowledge on the field, during training sessions and doing anything I can to give the team the edge. These days the competition is so close, so competitive, that any extra knowledge you can add to the coaching mix can help make a difference in terms of results.”

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said the club was thrilled to have Trani onboard for the 2009/10 campaign.

“Luciano has been involved with senior teams for a long time and is highly credentialled and well respected. We see Luciano is an important addition to our coaching set-up.

“We are still in the process of appointing as second assistant coach and we-re currently working through a shortlist of candidates for that role.”

Meanwhile, the contract of central defender Karl Dodd has not been renewed for the 2009/10 season.

The 28-year-old was an inaugural member of the Phoenix in 2007/08 and played 36 games for the Wellington club in addition to the 12 games he played for the Queensland Roar in 2005/06.

“Karl-s been an integral member of the Phoenix,” Pignata said. “It-s disappointing that we-re parting company but we wish him all the best for the future.”