A-League newcomers Western Melbourne Group have put the first piece of their coaching puzzle in place by installing highly-prized Bentleigh Greens mentor John Anastasiadis as an assistant for their debut season.
Following on from Mark Rudan’s successful start to his Wellington Phoenix reign, Western Melbourne Group have also looked to the NPL for untapped talent, and may have come up with a gem.
Anastasiadis won recognition for orchestrating Bentleigh Greens’ magical mystery tour to within a game of the FFA Cup Final in 2015, having taken charge four years earlier.
The former PAOK striker, 50, has been mentioned as an A-League coach in the making for some time, with WMG finally offering him a breakthrough in tandem with a head coach likely to come from overseas.
“John knows Victorian football through and through, has been an advocate for the NPL and has proved himself to be a hugely successful coach at NPL level and in the FFA Cup,” said WMG’s Football Director, former Socceroo Steve Horvat.
“This signing again shows our commitment to Victorian football and building a bridge between the NPL and A-League.
“There are many great Australian coaches at the NPL level such as John and we’re delighted he joins us as an assistant coach.
“With John, we’ll be able to tap into his vast knowledge of the game in this state and his huge passion for football. His ethos and track record fits with what we’re building.”
Anastasiadis couldn’t conceal his delight, after putting in “the hard yards”.
“I now have an opportunity to further my career at such an ambitious club on the national stage,” he said.
“I desperately want to help make this club a success for the community of the west.
“And with our own stadium in Tarneit to be built and funded privately, the club truly represents the region.
“We are a club for the future, and I’m ready to roll my sleeves up.”
Anastasiadis also played in the NSL with South Melbourne and Heidelberg before transitioning into coaching.
He won the Dockerty Cup in 2016, the Community Shield in 2016 and 2017 and premierships in 2016 and championships in 2015 and 2017 during his time with the Greens.