He doesn’t know if it will be in the A-League or overseas, but Socceroos legend and former Melbourne Heart and Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi is confident that he will coach again.
Aloisi’s name is one of the most commonly thrown about when an opening in the A-League arises, seemingly inserted into every list of potential candidates that clubs are kicking the tires on in seeking to fill a role.
This past offseason, he was most strongly linked with a move to Melbourne Victory before ultimately being pipped to the post at the traditional A-League powers by club legend Grant Brebner.
The Newcastle Jets remain without a gaffer heading into the 2020/21 season, the saga over their ownership situation leaving the club in frustrating limbo this offseason, but Aloisi’s name (albeit still mentioned) has been overshadowed by scuttlebutt surrounding the likes of Yokohama F. Marinos assistant Arthur Papas and former Socceroo and current Wollongong Wolves coach Luke Wilkshire.
Aloisi, who is currently serving as a pundit on Optus Sport, told journalists on Wednesday that while he didn’t know where or when his next opportunity would come, he wanted to be ready when it did.
“I’d love to coach again, and I will coach again,” the 44-year-old said. “I don’t know where.
“I’m taking this time at the moment that I’m not coaching to keep on watching football games, watching players so then I’m ready for the next opportunity.
“Whether that’s here in the A-league or eventually going overseas, I’m not sure yet, but I’d love to coach again.”
If Aloisi does resurface in the A-League as a coach, he will find the landscape a very different one from the scene when he departed Roar mid-way through the 18/19 campaign.
Thanks to a combination of COVID-19, governance reforms, market upheaval and changes in the media landscape, the A-League was confronted by an existential crossroads in 2020, one that has left if both scarred and irrecoverably altered.
Nonetheless, the 55-time Socceroo is bullish about the future of the A-League, saying that the changing circumstances the league is facing provide an opportunity for new avenues of growth and revenue.
“I look at it as we’ll come out stronger,” he said. “If you can come out of such a situation like this you can only come out stronger. And we saw at the end of last season, with the amount of younger players getting an opportunity, a lot of it had to do with the whole COVID situation.
“So that was positive in and of itself, especially for Graham Arnold, because at the moment, he’s in the national team position as the Head Coach and with the Olyroos.
“Seeing young boys coming through and getting minutes, and we all know they need minutes, is a massive boost
“Yes, the television deal we know about, the money at the moment isn’t there for clubs. But it makes them do things in a different way and I think that’s what they’re doing. Most clubs have looked in-house for players and also coaches, so I think that can only be a positive for the game.
“I think [current trends are due to] circumstances, and then I think it could be permanent.
“Riley McGree was a different situation but why I bring him up is because he had a good couple of seasons, especially last season with Adelaide United, they sell him for 800k and that’s money back into the club.
“I think that’s a way of becoming financially viable, to actually produce your own players, sell them on or if we get our way in terms of the domestic transfer system, I think that will help as well because then clubs will look in-house and local and look for their own players to bring through because they know that’s a way of making money to help their clubs.
“Adelaide United have been doing it, and Adelaide City used to do it back in the day, with the likes of the Vidmar brothers, Carl Veart, myself, my brother [Ross].
“There are quite a few others that came through at Adelaide City, got given an opportunity at a young age and they ended up seeling them on and the money came back through the club.”