City ‘break from tradition’ with fascinating interview: ‘Can’t recall seeing it before’

'It's been tough': City Director of Football Michael Petrillo discusses Rado Vidosic's departure

Melbourne City director of football Michael Petrillo has delivered an in-depth explanation for why Rado Vidosic was replaced by Aurelio Vidmar as head coach of the club’s men’s side in midweek.

The reigning Isuzu UTE A-League Premiers had put two losses on the board in the opening two rounds of the new season when the decision was made to replace Vidosic; a 6-0 defeat to Adelaide United in Round 2 was the catalyst for the change, leading to Vidmar’s appointment.

On Friday night came a 2-0 win over Sydney FC to turn momentum. At half-time of the clash at AAMI Park, with City holding a one-goal lead against the Sky Blues, the club’s director of football Michael Petrillo joined Michael Zappone of Paramount+ to expand on the reasoning behind Vidosic’s departure.

“It has been a tough few days,” Petrillo said.

“With the Grand Final result (6-1 loss to Mariners), and then a 6-0 loss to Adelaide, two different sets of players and two big defeats – the two biggest defeats in our club’s history – we just thought it was time to move now while it’s early in the season, and bring in a coach that can have time to have an influence on the results and change things around.

“I’ve been in touch with (Vidmar) for a long time, and we’ve been looking to bring him into the group somewhere.

“Being available, and also believing in the way we want to play football, spending time with Ange (Postecoglou) in the national team, an experienced coach, successful in Asia as well, successful in Thailand, good character, so it was an easy choice, really to appoint Aurelio.

“He’ll be driving standards back up to what (they) were before, off the back of four Grand Finals in a row and three Premierships, you don’t reach that without having high standards.

“(They) probably dropped off a bit over the last few months. We need to get those standards back up to where they were, and Aurelio is certainly going to drive those.”


After hearing the half-time interview, Paramount+ co-commentator Andy Harper lauded both Petrillo and City as a club for their level of transparency on the matter beyond what he can recall in the past.

“Watching that half-time interview, conducted by (Michael Zappone) with Michael Petrillo, it just dawned on me: it seems like a massive break from Melbourne City tradition,” Harper said.

“I can’t ever remember them addressing an issue like that in that manner… most of their information and statements that need to be made are through press releases.

“It’s a good thing – but I can’t recall seeing anything like it before.”

After the off-season high of lifting the Australia Cup, Friday night’s loss was a third on the bounce for Steve Corica’s Sydney FC. It’s the club’s worst start to an Isuzu UTE A-League season after three rounds in history, with zero points gained and zero goals scored after three games.

Ugarkovic scored his first goal for City on the cusp of half-time, producing a moment of class from the edge of the area in a half otherwise bereft of quality contributions. 

Joe Lolley had gone close on a number of occasions for the visitors, and Maclaren threatened to break his five-game scoring drought in the league with a header which flashed wide of Sydney’s goal. Then came Ugarkovic’s opener, squeezed past goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne with a low drive into the bottom-left corner.

The Sky Blues needed a response after half-time – and what they produced in the opening minute of the second stanza was certainly not what head coach Steve Corica was hoping for.

The Sydney defence was all at sea as City pushed forward from kick-off, with Tolgay Arslan’s first-time pass sending Marin Jakoliš free down the left wing to cross to Maclaren for a simple tap-in.

Corica rang the chances after the hour mark. Young prospects Jaiden Kucharski, Zachary de Jesus, Corey Hollman and Mitchell Glasson all entered the fray – as did big-name signing Fabio Gomes, who began to turn the tide with his presence in the Sky Blues attack.

Anthony Caceres set Gomes up to score with a pair of dangerous crosses, with the Brazilian striker heading marginally off target on both occasions.

City navigated through a brief period of Sky Blue pressure to keep their clean sheet intact and notch a much-needed 2-0 win at AAMI Park, with Sydney FC grappling the reality of a worst-ever start to an A-League Men campaign.