Wellington Phoenix coach Darije Kalezic to leave at end of A-League season

  • 01/03/2018
Kalezic and the Wellington Phoenix have mutually agreed to part ways.
Kalezic and the Wellington Phoenix have mutually agreed to part ways. Photo credit: Photosport

Phoenix head coach Darije Kalezic will leave the club at the end of a miserable A-League season for the last-placed Wellington club.

In a brief Phoenix statement, it was announced Swiss mentor Kalezic won't continue next season after overseeing four wins, five draws and 12 losses in his first year in charge.

"The parties were not able to find a mutual agreement on how to proceed forward and because of this have decided to move in separate directions," the statement said.

Kalezic was unable to reverse the fortunes of a team who have reached the playoffs four times in their 10-year history but never made it to a grand final.

They have finished in the bottom half of the ladder in four of the previous five seasons and are currently three points adrift of their nearest rivals.

Poor results and dwindling crowd sizes is also heaping pressure on their place in the A-League as they try to prove a continuation of their licence is justified.

Kalezic arrived with a solid CV of coaching roles in Europe.

The 48-year-old replaced stand-in coaches Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre, who took charge for the second half of 2016-17 following the departure of head coach Ernie Merrick.

In a management cleanout, Kalezic's assistant coach was proven A-League mentor Rado Vidosic.

However, Vidosic departed just before Christmas, citing a difference in methods to the head coach.

It also prompted the exit of Vidosic's son and Australian international striker Dario, who was a key off-season signing.

Pressure has mounted on Kalezic in recent weeks as his team lost four of five games, dropping out of playoff contention while playing an unattractive style.

It is unclear if Kalezic will see out the six remaining games this season, with the club unavailable for initial comment.

It is still more than a week until they next play, away to the Western Sydney Wanderers.