Jim Magilton has left Melbourne Victory to return to Northern Ireland.
Magilton arrived in early January with the difficult assignment of trying to arrest the club’s poor form and guide them into the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League Finals Series. The club eventually finishing in eighth position and Jim’s record ended with 2 wins, 5 draws and 5 losses.
At the conclusion of the season, Jim was advised that he would be one of the candidates on a short-list of coaches vying for the permanent position, but today advised the club that he did not want to partake in this process.
Managing Director, Richard Wilson, was full of praise for what Jim had brought to Melbourne Victory in such a short time; “Jim arrived at the shortest of notice, on a leap of faith, stepping into a role that he had limited background on.”
“We realise that we didn’t ultimately reach the finals this season, which was our goal, but we also believe Jim was unlucky not to have finished with a better record, given we conceded goals in the dying stages of games against Sydney and Gold Coast.
“He was a total professional throughout the three months he was here. His preparation week-to-week was exceptional, his team selection saw the integration of several youngsters and was always in the best interests of the club. He also re-shaped a number of processes in the football department with the support of his assistant Chris O’Loughlin, who he brought with him, which will hold us in very good stead as we take our next steps forward.
“In summary, he left no stone unturned, tackled every issue head-on and he will only be remembered in a positive way from everyone involved in Melbourne Victory. We certainly wish Jim and Chris well in their future coaching endeavours,” said Wilson.
Magilton reflected on his time with the club: “On behalf of Chris and myself, I’d like to thank everyone at Melbourne Victory for the opportunity that was presented to us.”
“We have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and wish the club every success in the future,” said Magilton.
The club has a short-list of candidates for the Head Coach role and the process for appointment is underway. The club will not respond to speculation around candidates and looks forward to advising media, members and fans of an appointment, when in a position to do so.