For the first time in the club’s history, Melbourne Victory will be without Kevin Muscat during the 2019-20 season after it was confirmed on Monday that the 45-year-old had reached a mutual agreement to depart AAMI Park.
Speculation had been rampant in the wake of Victory’s 6-1 semi-final defeat to A-League Champions Sydney FC that the end of Muscat’s long association with Victory may be coming to an end; rumours linking him with a break from football or even the Middle East.
Victory’s statement on Monday, however, would only declare that the club legend was set to take a “break.”
Muscat was the first signing Victory made upon its birth and was soon after named captain. As a player, he helped lead the club to two A-League Championships, two A-League Premierships and won three Victory medals.
Making the move into coaching following his playing retirement, Muscat took up an assistant role with the club and stepped into the Head Coaching slot when Ange Postecoglou departed for the Socceroos role in 2013.
As Victory gaffer, Muscat steered the club to a further A-League Premiership, two more A-League Championships and the club’s first FFA Cup crown in 2015.
“This is not a decision made overnight or taken lightly,”
“I believe the time is right for me to refresh, and in time, seek a new opportunity after giving everything I’ve got emotionally and physically to Melbourne Victory over the last 14 years.
“We have created and earned many great memories along the way including our eight trophies.
“It goes without saying that I will love and support this football club and wish it nothing but success.”
Victory Chairman Anthony Di Pietro was effusive in his
praise of the departing Head Coach and offered an insight into the club’s next
“Kevin has been incredibly successful as both a player and coach and will go down as one of the most influential figures in Melbourne Victory’s history,” said Di Pietro.
“The parting was an ongoing collaboration and unified decision, and we wish Kevin nothing but the best for his future.
“He is a talented and highly successful coach, has been such an integral part of our club and will always be part of it.
“Our priority will be to secure the right person as our next head coach who fits our criteria to take our club forwards
“This is an opportunity to reset and shape the next phase of our club, and we view this as an exciting prospect.
“As I said on Friday (at Victory’s ‘Victory in Business’ luncheon) the one thing that will remain constant are the expectations we place on our club. We will not apologise for our relentless pursuit of success and this will remain at the forefront of our decision making.”
Muscat’s final game in charge of Victory will take place on Wednesday night against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the Asian Champion’s League.