Former Socceroos striker Damian Mori has replaced Mark Rudan as the front-runner to take over as Newcastle Jets coach. The former goalscoring legend Damian Mori claimed that he has completed his coaching apprenticeship and that he is ready for the step up to the A-League should the opportunity arise.
The sticking point involved contractual guarantees and a potential settlement should a new owner take control of the club and want to bring in their own coach. Mori is on a shortlist of young Australian coaches including Rudan, Paul Okon and Tony Vidmar identified by the FFA coaching panel headed by AngePostecoglou.
Business interests have kept Mori in Adelaide, but the Herald has been told he is keen to make the step up to the A-League. The Jets have been without a coach since Phil Stubbins was let go nearly two weeks ago after the FFA took control of the club from Nathan Tinkler.
Mori, who coaches Adelaide City in the National Premier Leagues, is a serious contender for the Newcastle Jets job that became available after the dismissal of Phil Stubbins last month.Rudan had been the leading candidate, but the Herald understands that negotiations between the former Sydney FC defender and Football Federation Australia broke down last week.
Mori reckons he’s served his apprenticeship as a coach, after seven years with National Premier League side Adelaide City, and is ready to step up to the A-League. Newcastle need a new coach after Phil Stubbins was dismissed last month following a troubled season in charge.
Mori spent his entire playing career in Australia, apart from a one-year stint with Borussia Monchengladbach. The 44-year-old, whose record of 29 goals for Australia was broken last year by Tim Cahill, said: “I’ve got 11 years of coaching experience all up now so I’m ready to step into a hot seat in the A-League.”
Mori in his second stint and eighth season in charge of Adelaide City, whom he guided to the quarter-finals of the FFA Cup last season, beating Asian champions Western Sydney Wanderers in the round of 32. A two-time South Australian coach of the year, Mori has a reputation in his home state for developing young players.
He said he was surprised to read reports suggesting he is a frontrunner for the Newcastle job. “I want the job and if it is offered to me and I agree to the terms I will take it, no doubt about that,” he added. “It would give me a chance to improve a team that has not been successful for a long time.”