Gold Coast's Higgins takes coaching role
The move means that young gloveman Jerrad Tyson will become understudy to number one Glen Moss, however, 34-year-old Higgins will still keep his fitness levels up to scratch in readiness to step in should injuries strike one of United's 'keepers.
A foundation player with Gold Coast, the well-travelled Higgins made eleven appearances in United's first season, including the club's first ever Hyundai A-League match, and took to the field four times last term when an ankle injury sidelined Moss.
"It's a natural progression for Scott and it means we have continuity by 'keeping it in the family'," said Head Coach Miron Bleiberg.
"Scott already knows our goalkeepers inside out of course, so the whole process should be seamless. He has all the ingredients necessary to make a very good coach.
"Essentially, it's a transitional year for him and we're basically swapping him for Jerrad Tyson. Jerrad will now become the number two goalkeeper and Scott will be number three. Jerrad is a very promising young goalkeeper and he will learn a lot next season.
"But as well as performing his coaching duties, Scott will stay fit so if we have any injury problems he can step straight in. He's not completely retired just yet!"
Higgins has completed some of his qualifications in both goalkeeping and general coaching, but has already signed up to continue his off-field education over the next 12 months, meaning he will join an elite group in Australia who are trained and authorised to coach 'keepers at the highest level.