Phoenix assistants back for more

THE excellent contributions of Wellington Phoenix assistant coaches Luciano Trani and Jonathan Gould to the team’s Hyundai A-League 2009/10 campaign has seen them rewarded with contract extensions.

THE excellent contributions of Wellington Phoenix assistant coaches Luciano Trani and Jonathan Gould to the team-s Hyundai A-League 2009/10 campaign has seen them rewarded with contract extensions.

Trani and Gould have been integral to the Phoenix-s success this season as lieutenants to Phoenix and New Zealand national team head coach Ricki Herbert, the club extending their contracts for another year.

Herbert said both men had proved themselves as exceptional coaches and was delighted to have them remain onboard at the Phoenix.

“Luciano and Jonathan have been instrumental in the success of the club this season and I-ve been extremely fortunate to have them as my assistants, especially given the busy nature of the past season for me personally with the national team as well as the Phoenix.

“Both have their own unique strengths and together we have been able to form a very cohesive and effective coaching unit.”

Trani joined the Phoenix from Football Federation Victoria, where he was coaching instructor since 2007, and Pascoe Vale FC, where he was head coach. He has previously coached at Victorian Premier League and National Soccer League level with the Fawkner Blues, Essendon Royals, Whittlesea Stallions, Brisbane Strikers and the Melbourne Knights.

“It-s been an enjoyable and satisfying season for me with the Phoenix and I-m thrilled to be staying on with the club,” Trani, 43, said. “I-d like to think I-ve contributed something this season and although we-ve had a very good one, as a coaching unit we still have some big goals we want to achieve.”

Gould, 41, joined the Phoenix after being head coach at New Zealand Football Championship club Hawke-s Bay United since 2006.

The former professional goalkeeper played more than 150 games in goal for Celtic from 1997-2003 and also represented Coventry, Bradford City and Preston North End in England. He earned two international caps with Scotland.

“It-s been a thoroughly enjoyable season with the Phoenix and I-m grateful to Ricki and the club for giving me the opportunity,” Gould said. “We-re building something quite special here in Wellington and I-m thrilled to be staying on and being part of it.”

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata said the reappointment of Trani and Gould - coupled with the contract extension of Herbert earlier in the season - was indicative of the club-s desire for stability and continuity.

“Luciano and Jonathan have really contributed to the success of the season and they-ve really worked well together and with Ricki. The club is lucky to have coaches of such high calibre and it-s fantastic that we have been able to keep the unit together.”