Melbourne City’s coach-in-waiting Erick Mombaerts has opened up on plans to reinvigorate the club following the departure of Warren Joyce.
The Frenchman made way for Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama F. Marinos 17 months ago having coached the J-League club for three seasons - taking them to the final of the Emperor’s Cup last year - before standing down.
He has remained on the books of the City Football Group since and sees the A-League as an attractive next career step to spread his free flowing football philosophy, with Melbourne City set to officially announce his appointment within the next week.
Mombaerts has been combining consultancy work with the French Football Federation, as well as fine-tuning documents expounding the CFG group coaching methodology, since exiting Japan.
The 64-year-old, who has coached Paris St Germain, Toulouse, Guingamp and Le Havre as well as the France's Under-18 and Under-21 sides, is looking forward to getting back into the day-to-day drill, saying the City job would be a “great experience”.
His processor Joyce was often criticised for his dour approach, but that looks set to change under Mombaerts.
Asked if would be the man succeed Joyce, Mombaerts told The World Game: “It’s unofficial right now.
“It would be a great experience if I had the chance to go to Melbourne and set up the City style I want. This is my first motivation.
“I am very proud to be a City (CFG) coach.”
CFG, the Abu Dhabi-based football super power, own Manchester City and a network of subordinates, including Melbourne City. They have a 20 per cent stake in Yokohama but crucially control the football department.
Mombaerts wouldn’t confirm, as has been suggested, that he’s already been on a reconnaissance mission to Melbourne to assess the football landscape.
But he did confirm he had met the club’s management team on several occasions in Manchester at strategy meetings involving the CFG and its satellite clubs.
“We’ve talked on several occasions in Manchester - and I am open to another project now,” he added.
City bowed out of the finals at the first hurdle last season, with Englishman Joyce paying the price.