5 Asian-based coaches for Wellington Phoenix job

The Hyundai A-League team could do worse than look north to Asia for some inspiration, says Asian football expert @JohnnyDuerden.

Phoenix bombshell: Merrick resigns as coach

Li Tie

The former Everton midfielder is well regarded in England after showing fans of the Premier League that Chinese players can actually play.

His football education gathered pace as he returned home and in 2012, he became the assistant to Marcello Lippi at Guangzhou Evergrande, and was an important member of the coaching staff as the Southern Chinese Tigers won the 2013 AFC Champions League. 

Li Tie

Also had a spell assisting Alain Perrin at the national team.

 In June 2015, he took over his own club Hebei CFFC and delivered promotion to the top tier.

Was very harshly fired in August with the team in the top six in a first ever top tier season and replaced by Manuel Pellegrini.

Choi Kang-hee

The most successful coach in AFC Champions League history is, if reports in East Asia can be believed, opened to being lured away from his beloved Jeonbuk Motors.

When the former international took charge of the Jeonju-club in 2005, it had never come close to winning the domestic title but there have been four championships under Choi.

He has also delivered two Champions League triumphs, the latest coming in November, and a place in the knockout stage multiple times.

Choi Kang-hee

All the time, he has played a major part in helping Jeonbuk become a leader off the pitch too in terms of training facilities and youth development.

Doesn’t smile much, actually doesn’t smile at all,  but he lets his players do the talking for him. 

Perhaps coming to the end of an era at Jeonbuk after a second Asian triumph – the prize that had become something of a personal obsession – and ready for a new challenge.

Chan Yuen-ting

A bit of a wild card but appointing the 2016 Asian women’s coach of the year would make headlines around the world. 

Currently coaching Josh Mitchell’s side in Hong Kong, Eastern FC, and is very highly rated, as you’d expect. 

Chan is used to that kind of attention however after becoming the first female to coach a team to the top tier of a professional men’s league earlier this year with Eastern of Hong Kong.

Chan Yuen-ting

Still just 28, Chan has expressed interest in working in Australia and is ambitious as they come.

A head coach position in Australia may be a big step at the moment though an assistant position could work.

If not, Aussie fans may just see her and her team in action in the 2017 AFC Champions League.

Kiatisuk Senamuang

The Thailand coach has done wonders with the War Elephants since taking the reins in 2013 as Australia found out in Bangkok in November.

“Zico” was not only a great player but he is turning into a fine tactician.

Kiatisuk Senamuang

Speaks English and is ambitious to try his luck overseas, the one drawback is that there is still unfinished business in Thailand and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup. 

Yet, while the team is improving, there is a limit, in the short-term at least, to what can be achieved.

Adnan Hamad

The 2004 Asian Coach of the Year has been around the block plenty of times in West Asian football. 

He led Iraq to the 2002 West Asian Football Federation Championship and then two years later took the Olympic team to the semi final in Athens.

Adnan Hamad

Another impressive achievement came in 2011 when he took Jordan to the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup and then the final playoff in qualification for the 2014 World Cup.

Well-travelled, well-experienced and well-thought of, the “Desert Fox” would bring something new to the Hyundai A-League.