National title-winning coach Gary Phillips has put up his hand for the vacant Perth Glory job and believes he could deliver a smooth transition from the Alistair Edwards era.
Edwards was sensationally sacked this week following a bitter feud with senior players, who confronted the former coach in dramatic circumstances to voice their concerns over aspects of his leadership.
The dispute led to a review and the club attempted to put restrictive conditions Edwards, which he did not accept.
Two days of negotiations between the club and Edwards failed to produce an outcome suitable to all parties.
Club owner Tony Sage said Edwards had still been his preferred coach and was eager to see a continuation of the groundwork Edwards laid after taking over from Ian Ferguson in February.
Phillips, who has been technical director at Football Queensland for the past 18 months, has an intimate knowledge of the national curriculum upon which Edwards based his Glory plans.
Phillips was recently involved in negotiations with Brisbane Roar to set out a similar development pathway and is eager for a chance in the A-League after leading Sydney Olympic to two National Soccer League grand finals, both against Glory, in 2002-03.
He also spent several years working with Asian clubs and the Asian Football Confederation.
Phillips yesterday made contact with Glory chief executive Jason Brewer, expressing his interest in the coaching job.
“I’m familiar with all the philosophies of FFA and essentially where Alistair was initially trying to take the club,” Phillips said.
“From all reports, they’re happy with the direction but maybe just a change in leadership is more to the point at the moment.
“Having experience and knowledge in that capacity is an advantage and I’ve got all the accreditations, experience and skills, I think, and the right attitude, more importantly.”
Sage said Glory would search far and wide for a full-time coach.
“We’ll look all over the shop for the full-time coaching role, for sure,” Sage said.
“It could take one week, three weeks or five weeks to find someone full-time.
“We don’t know that yet until we find out what’s going to happen internally.”
Glory officials have already sounded out former assistant coach and WA National Training Centre boss Kenny Lowe, who is the favourite to assume the coaching role on an interim basis.
Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne, Sydney United manager Mark Rudan and Western Sydney Wanderers assistant Ante Milicic are all in the frame.
Despite not having a coach in place, Glory yesterday signed Brazilian winger Sidnei to a two-year contract extension.
Sidnei will miss Sunday’s game against Adelaide United at nib Stadium due to a hamstring injury.