Montgomery leaves ALM’s Mariners for Hibernian

Central Coast Mariners say the chance to replace Nick Montgomery as manager is the most-sought after job in Australia after the Englishman left the reigning A-League Men champions to join Scottish outfit Hibernian. 

Montgomery has signed a three-year deal with Hibs, who sacked Lee Johnson last month after a winless start to their season. 

Montgomery’s offsider, assistant coach Sergio Raimundo, has also followed him to Scotland after they led the club to a 6-1 demolition of Melbourne City in last season’s grand final. 

“I’ve followed Nick’s career for a number of years,” Hibs director of football Brian McDermott said. 

“As a player, he was a leader and he’s brought that quality into his managerial and coaching career. What he’s done as a coach is really impressive.”

Montgomery joined the Mariners as a player nearly a decade ago following a glittering career in England with Sheffield United.

He made the move into coaching following retirement, before being appointed Mariners manager two years ago.

The Yorkshireman took the Gosford-based club to the 2021 Australia Cup final before lifting last year’s title in impressive fashion. 

“I am so happy I could deliver that trophy back to the Coast, for them and for the community,” Montgomery said. 

“Together as one family we made what people thought was impossible, possible.

“It’s time for a new chapter, but you will always be in my heart, and I will be supporting from afar.”

Mariners academy boss Abbas Saad has been placed in charge of the team on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found.

The club said it hoped to finalise a deal quickly, with the new season set to get underway in six weeks.

“We have been inundated with interest from all over the world for the vacant position,” Mariners director Matt Simon said.

“We have already been speaking to potential candidates we believe will help to continue the club’s trajectory.

“This job is the most sought after in the A-League, and we will continue to work hard behind the scenes to make sure that the right candidate is selected to lead us forward into the future.”