Giancarlo Italiano

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Giancarlo Italiano joined the Wellington Phoenix ahead of the 2018-19 season as the team’s head analyst and Ufuk Talay’s second assistant coach.

‘Chiefy’ held several junior coaching roles before joining Blacktown City in 2015 as their head of football. In 2017 he became the assistant coach of Sydney FC’s National Premier Leagues (NPL) and youth league teams and a year later was promoted to head coach of the NPL side.

Italiano helped guide the Phoenix to its highest ever regular season finish of third in his maiden season with the club.

He was promoted to assistant coach for the 2020-21 season while the team was forced to play all but two of their matches out of Australia. The Nix finished just one point short of the finals after going on a club record 11-game unbeaten run.

Italiano signed a two-year contract extension with the Phoenix in July 2021, and he helped guide Wellington back to the finals in 2022, despite the team again only getting to play two of their matches in New Zealand.

He took charge of the Nix for two matches in March 2022 after Ufuk Talay tested positive to COVID-19. The Phoenix beat Perth Glory 2-1 in his first match, thanks to a last gasp goal from Nicholas Pennington, and then downed Brisbane Roar 3-0, courtesy of an outstanding goalkeeping display from Oli Sail.

> 2022-23 season

Giancarlo Italiano helped the Phoenix qualify for the finals for the third time in four years, finishing sixth on the ladder.

Italiano completed the AFC professional coaching diploma, run by Football Australia, in March 2023 to become one of a select few coaches in Aotearoa with a pro licence.

In April he was appointed head coach of the Nix for the next two A-League seasons, following Ufuk Talay’s decision to move on at the end of the campaign.

“I’ve learnt so much under Uffy,” Italiano said. “I believe he is the best coach in the A-League, and I’ve had valuable lessons I don’t believe I would have got with other coaches.

“I’ve also been fortunate to see Graham Arnold work at Sydney FC, followed by his successor Steve Corica. Along the way I’ve seen how team environments are created and the inner workings of successful clubs.

“That experience fused with the time I’ve had with Uffy has really given me the confidence I can do well in this job.

“I’m going to build on the playing style that Uffy has put in, but with my own new ideas. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”









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