NEW ROLE: Chris Greenacre will share the coaching duties at Wellington Phoenix.
NEW ROLE: Chris Greenacre will share the coaching duties at Wellington Phoenix. David Rowland

Buckingham and Greenacre share Phoenix coaching role

FOOTBALL: Des Buckingham and Chris Greenacre have been confirmed as the coaches of the Wellington Phoenix for the remainder of the 2016-17 A-League season.

The pair took the reins when Ernie Merrick resigned four weeks ago and has been in charge for four games that have seen the team unbeaten with one win and three draws.

On Sunday night the Phoenix fought out a scoreless draw with defending champions Adelaide United and was denied a win only by some outstanding saves from United keeper Eugene Galekovic.

Under the FFA regulations Buckingham, who holds a Pro Licence, will be head coach and Greenacre, a former striker with the club who has an A Licence, will be co-coach.

Buckingham said he was looking forward to the challenge.

"I still think this team is capable of making the top four which was our aim at the start of the season,” he said.

"It is good that we have gone four games unbeaten, which I've been told hasn't happened since February 2015, but we could have won all three with a bit of luck.

"We have been handed a fantastic challenge and have been fortunate to have worked with Ernie Merrick who upskilled us and exposed us to a lot of stuff that wouldn't have happened with other coaches at other clubs.”

Greenacre, a former Manchester City and Tranmere Rovers striker who was a Phoenix fan favourite in his playing days, said he was pleased to have the coaching situation decided.

"To lose our mentor was tough but that is the nature of the game of football and it has presented us with a fantastic challenge and life is all about challenges”, he said

NZ HERALD



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