Ernest Merrick OAM is a Scottish-Australian coach, who manages A-League soccer club Newcastle Jets. He was the former head coach of the Hong Kong national football team and A-League clubs Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix. In his first season at Melbourne Victory in 2005/06, the club failed to live up to its championship aspirations. With Socceroos Archie Thompson and Kevin Muscat in the squad, the experience of 2 European internationals in Geoffrey Claeys and Richard Kitzbichler, expectations from the Melbourne fans were high, but they were left disappointed. After a promising start which saw them 1st after round 8, when they beat eventual champions Sydney FC 5–0, the team won only 3 of the last 13 games. During the second season, The Victory won the 2006–07 A-League Premiership, 12 points clear of second placed Adelaide United. Melbourne Victory faced Adelaide United in the A-League Grand Final at the Telstra Dome on 18 February, winning the match 6–0 with Archie Thompson scoring an incredible five goals.
The 2007–2008 season was a return to the disappointment of Merrick's first year in charge however, with the team finishing outside the Top 4 spots and thus failing to progress to the Finals Series. Melbourne Victory finished second in the group phase of the 2008 Asian Champions League. Gamba Osaka went on to win the Asian Champions League. In the 2008–2009 season, Melbourne Victory won the treble. In the Grand Final, Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide United 1–0 to secure their second championship under Ernie Merrick's coaching. During the 2009–2010 season, Melbourne Victory, despite severe season-ending knee injuries to key players, Billy Celeski, Matthew Kemp and star striker Archie Thompson once again reached the Grand Final. Sydney FC took out the title after extra time on penalties. Kevin Muscat and Marvin Angulo missed their penalty kicks, allowing Sydney to take out the championship. On 12 March 2011, Ernie Merrick was sacked from his post at Melbourne Victory; the board of Melbourne Victory stated that they were unhappy with Victory's season and the 5–1 defeat by Gamba Osaka in Japan in the opening match of the Asian Champions League.
Anthony Di Pietro, chairman of Melbourne Victory, said "Our club sets high standards and we are disappointed with the results of the recent A-League season and our start to the Champions League campaign" and that "Our intent is to continue to be the benchmark club in the A-League. We wish to be successful in Asia and believe this decision will assist in taking us to that level." Merrick was the last foundation coach to be sacked. Ernie Merrick was awarded coach of the year in 2007 and again in 2010; the Hong Kong Football Association, on 16 December 2011, confirmed the appointment of Ernie Merrick as the new National Head Coach. On 26 October 2012, it was confirmed. On 20 May 2013, Merrick was announced as the head coach for Wellington Phoenix on a two-year contract, with an option for a third year. On 5 December 2016, Merrick resigned from the Phoenix following a 2-0 loss to Adelaide United. In May 2017, Merrick was announced as the new coach of Newcastle Jets, following the sacking of Mark Jones after Newcastle Jets finished bottom of the league in the 2016–17 season.
On 17 April 2018, Merrick signed an improved contract keeping him with the Jets until the end of the 2019/20 Hyundai A-League season. Merrick was born in Edinburgh to a circus family. Before entering the head coaching ranks, he was a PE teacher as well as an amateur football player; as of 21 April 2018 With Melbourne Victory: A-League Championship: 2006–2007, 2008–2009 A-League Premiership: 2006–2007, 2008–2009 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup: 2008Personal Honours: A-League Coach of the Year: 2006–2007, 2009–10 Order of Australia: 2014 Melbourne Victory profile Oz Football profile
Claudio Adrián Cáceres is an Argentine-born Australian former footballer who last played for Balcatta FC. Caceres started his professional career with English team Southampton before spending a few years with lower Football League clubs including Yeovil Town, Hull City, Wycombe Wanderers and Aldershot Town, he moved back to Australia to play for Perth Glory for the second time in the inaugural A-League season. While putting in some good performances he was never a first team regular because of injury and moved to Melbourne Victory for the second A-League season, where he has reunited with former Perth Glory teammate, Mark Byrnes; the pair played together at Perth Glory. On 7 February 2008, Caceres signed a two-year deal with the Central Coast Mariners, which would start following the 2008 Asian Champions League. In August 2009, Caceres was released from the final year of his two-year contract with the Central Coast Mariners by mutual consent, he was snapped up by the Wellington Phoenix just days and scored his first goal for his new club on 18 December 2009 in a 1–1 draw with Adelaide United.
Correct as of 20 August 2014 On 18 March 2019 he was sentenced to 18 months' jail after being found guilty of dealing methamphetamine. Melbourne VictoryA-League Championship: 2006–07 A-League Premiership: 2006–07Perth GloryNSL Championship: 2002–03, 2003–04 Wellington Phoenix profile Oz Football profile
Olympic Park Stadium
Olympic Park Stadium was a multi-purpose outdoor stadium located on Olympic Boulevard in inner Melbourne. The stadium was built as an athletics training venue for the 1956 Olympics, a short distance from the MCG, which served as the Olympic Stadium. Over the years it was the home of rugby league side, Melbourne Storm and the A-League team, Melbourne Victory. Olympic Park Stadium was located in Olympic Park, part of the Melbourne Sports and Entertainment Precinct. Olympic Park Stadium was demolished in 2011, replaced with an Australian rules football ground; this new ground, Olympic Park Oval, has been used by the Collingwood Football Club for training purposes, it being adjacent to the Holden Centre. As of the 2016 season, Collingwood are using Olympic Park as one of their home grounds for the VFL side of the club; the stadium was one of the largest in Victoria suited to a rectangular configuration, which made it ideal for hosting rugby league, rugby union and gridiron matches. Whilst the larger Etihad Stadium and Melbourne Cricket Ground stadiums support rectangular configuration, due to their oval-shaped grounds, viewing conditions are less ideal.
The larger 30,050-seat rectangular stadium adjacent to Olympic Park Stadium was completed in May 2010. The stadium had lighting suited for night athletics meets as well as a world standard athletics track, refurbished in 1997, with the stadium last being redeveloped in 1998; the athletics track was refurbished again in 2010 for the national championships. Until 2009, the stadium was home of the Melbourne Storm, it served as the home of Melbourne Victory home games for two seasons. Olympic Park had a capacity of 18,500 spectators, with 11,000 seats. Australian athletes competed on the track for over fifty years and the venue hosted twelve National Championships. Thirteen world records in athletics had been established at the stadium with Pole vaulter Emma George setting four between 1995 and 1998. Australian middle-distance runner star John Landy featured in a memorable race at the 1956 National Championships, where he stopped during the Mile championship to assist the fallen junior champion, Ron Clarke.
Landy's actions, in front of a 22,000 strong crowd have been described as'the finest sporting moment in the history of sport'. Landy went on to win the event with many commentators believing that the stop had cost him the world record. A photograph of the fall was named the'Best Australian Sporting Photo of the Twentieth Century' while Landy's conduct was named by the Sport Australia Hall of Fame as the nation's finest sporting moment of the 20th Century; the track was host to the most significant athletics meeting in Australia each year, the Athletics Grand Prix Series, meet. Olympic Park was the first stadium in Australia to be recognised by FIFA as a soccer ground. From the mid-1950s onward the venue was considered to be the unofficial home of soccer in Victoria, it hosted important games of the Victorian State League, including Dockerty Cup finals and games by overseas touring teams. The stadium held FIFA World Cup qualification matches, 1993 FIFA World Youth Championship matches, group matches of the 1956 Olympics football competition.
Australia played 34 internationals at Olympic Park for 11 wins. The last international match played at Olympic Park was a friendly against Paraguay on 15 June 2000, which Australia won 2–1, it wasn't supposed to host the game but the game was moved to Olympic Park because the venue, about to play host to the soccer international, Colonial Stadium, had an unsafe surface that had caused an Australian Football League match to be moved from Colonial Stadium to the Melbourne Cricket Ground. As well as hosting several National Soccer League Grand Finals, various soccer clubs used the venue as a permanent or temporary home, such as Melbourne Knights, South Melbourne and Heidelberg United. A-League club Melbourne Victory initially played its home games at the venue, before capacity issues saw it move to the much larger Docklands Stadium the following season. Game II of the 1990 State of Origin series was the first to be played in Melbourne and the stadium was packed to capacity for New South Wales' victory over Queensland.
Capacity for the stadium was upped to 25,800 through the use of temporary seating at each end. The stadium held an NSWRL premiership match in 1993, when the St. George Dragons defeated the Western Suburbs Magpies 20–8 in front of 11,822 fans; the match was designated as a Wests home game. The stadium hosted an Australia vs New Zealand test match on 3 July 1991 as part of the 1991 Trans-Tasman Test series; the match was first rugby league test held in Australia outside of New South Wales or Queensland, with the Kiwi's scoring an upset 24–8 win over the World Champions in front of 26,900 fans. Olympic Park was the home ground of the Melbourne Storm from 1998–2000 and 2002–2009; the exception being 2001 when the Storm moved their home games to the larger, 56,347-capacity Telstra Dome, due in part to the Storm's first three seasons, each having season average attendance of over 13,000. Attractive in the move was the chance to play indoors due to the stadium having a retractable roof, the stadium's ability to move seating closer to the rugby league field.
The seating was only moved for one game, due to the cost involved and the damage done to the playing surface, which hosted the Australian Football League. That was the Round 21 clash with defending premiers Brisbane
Daniel Lee "Danny" Allsopp is a former Australian football player who played as a striker. He last played for Launceston City, he is a full international for the Australia national football team, is well known for being Melbourne Victory's second highest, the A-League's seventh highest all-time goalscorer, behind Archie Thompson, Shane Smeltz, Besart Berisha, Sergio van Dijk, Mark Bridge and Carlos Hernandez. Allsopp started his senior football career with Monbulk Rangers in 1994 as a 16-year-old, competing in the Victorian Provisional League Division 1; the following year he joined Croydon City in the Victorian State League Division 1 competition before joining then-NSL club South Melbourne in 1995. After two seasons with South, Allsopp made the move across town to Carlton S. C. for the 1997 NSL season. Allsopp spent the 1998 Victorian Premier League season with Port Melbourne Sharks moved to England to trial for Second Division club Manchester City, after scoring in City's first friendly match against Newquay as well as some reserve team matches, he was signed for the club for the 1998–99 season.
Allsopp's four goals in 25 games saw Manchester City promoted to the First Division, but he struggled to find a regular place in the team as the team in the 1999–2000 season, was loaned out to Notts County. He was loaned to Wrexham in early 2000, scored four goals in just three league matches by end of the 1999–2000 season; the following season, he went on loan to Bristol Rovers, where he failed to score a goal in his four league appearances. Allsopp returned on loan to Notts County, scored four goals in three matches before being bought for £300,000 by the club. In a three-season career, he scored 50 goals in 111 appearances before signing with Hull City for 2003–04; the move provided more success for Allsopp, as he scored 15 goals in his first season and seven in 2004–05 as a regular in the line-up. Allsopp negotiated an early release from Hull, decided to return to Australia to play for new club Melbourne Victory under Ernie Merrick, who had coached Allsopp during his time at the VIS. Despite making 20 starts in the 2005–06 season, Allsopp was not nearly as prolific as at his previous clubs, only managed three goals for the year.
The season featured Allsopp's 250th match in all league competitions. The 2006–07 season saw a remarkable turnaround in Allsopp's scoring record at Melbourne, he finished the season as the league Golden Boot winner as highest scorer in the home and away fixtures. His tally of 11 made him the first A-League player to score a double figure tally and was one goal more than second place, teammate Archie Thompson, his 35 shots on target was the equal highest with Newcastle Jets midfielder Nick Carle. During the 2009–10 A-League season it was confirmed that Allsopp had signed with Qatari side, Al-Rayyan Sports Club, for an undisclosed fee, he had less than a year left on his contract with Victory. On 22 September 2009, Allsopp made his debut for Al-Rayyan against Al-Kharatiyat, providing an assist for Amara Diane's goal. Allsopp joined Major League Soccer club D. C. United on 18 January 2010. Allsopp and D. C. United mutually agreed to terminate his contract after just one season with the club. On 24 December 2010 Allsopp rejoined with his team mates at the Melbourne Victory, in a contract that will keep him there until the end of the 2012–13 season.
On 18 October 2012 he announced his retirement from professional football. In 2013, Allsopp returned to play for Croydon City Arrows. 2014 was a successful year for both Croydon & Allsopp, with the club winning the Victorian State League 4 East competition & promotion to State League 3 and Allsopp winning both the league Best & Fairest and Golden Boot Awards. In 2013, Allsopp signed as a guest player for Launceston City FC, he featured in the round 15 National Premier Leagues Tasmania fixture between Launceston City FC and local rivals Northern Rangers FC. The match finished in a 6-0 win to Northern Rangers FC, with Allsopp picking up a yellow card for a reckless challenge. In 2014 Allsopp again featured for the Tasmanian State League club as a guest player, in a round 5 National Premier Leagues Tasmania match against City's sister club Hobart Zebras FC; the game finished in a 4-2 win with Allsopp scoring a hat-trick. This was a history making result for City and saw the end of a 25-game losing streak, with the club not winning a single league fixture since the new statewide league inception in 2013.
In 1995, he made his name in the under-17 World Championship, where he was tied top scorer with five goals, including one in Australia's 3–1 loss to eventual runners-up Brazil. His performance opened the door for his entrance into the Australian National Soccer League, signing with South Melbourne, he stayed with the club until 1997. Allsopp represented Australia again, this time at under-20 level in the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship in Malaysia, with Australia making it through to the second round before being knocked out by Japan. On his return he was loaned out to VPL club Port Melbourne Sharks. Meanwhile, Allsopp had become a regular member of Australia's under-23 national team in 1999, played three matches for one goal in 2000, but was not selected in the squad for the 2000 Summer Olympics. Allsopp earned his first call-up to the Australia senior squad for a friendly match against Uruguay on June 2007 and came on as a 78th-minute substitute in the 2–1 defeat by the South Americans.
On 23 May he got his second international appearance for Australia when he came on as a substitute for James Troisi in a friendly against Ghana. National coach Pim Verbeek described Allsopp's performance against Indon
Steve Pantelidis is an Australian football player who plays as a central defender for Oakleigh Cannons FC. Pantelidis was a keen football player who showed plenty of potential competing against other schools. After excelling in the state championships, representing his home state Victoria, Pantelidis was selected to represent the Australian Institute of Sport. After completing his apprenticeship he joined Altona East Phoenix in the Victorian premier league. In his second year at the club he was voted player of the year. Pantelidis moved overseas at the age of 19 years and signed for FC Aarhus, after his successful year at Altona East Phoenix. After finding it hard to settle in Denmark, Pantelidis returned to Australia after 6 months and signed for Melbourne Knights in the National Soccer League. During his time at Melbourne Knights he was selected to represent Australia at Under-20 level, he subsequently went to the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates where Australia reached the quarter final.
During the period where Australia's national football league was being reformed, Pantelidis played both for Oakleigh Cannons and Heidelberg United in the Victorian Premier League. After excelling in the Victorian Premier League, Melbourne Victory FC snapped Pantelidis up for the start of the A-League where he spent 4 years. During his time at Melbourne Victory FC he was awarded'The Age young player of the year' and won two A-League Championships with the club. In 2009, he signed a 2-year deal with the new franchise in the A-League, Gold Coast United FC. Pantelidis played 49 games for Gold Coast FC. After a successful and productive 2 years at Gold Coast United FC, Pantelidis was approached by Medan Bintang FC in the newly formed Liga Primer Indonesia, where he signed a 2-year deal. After only two weeks at the club he was made captain by former Bundesliga coach Michael Fichenbiger; the league collapsed and Pantelidis returned to the A-League where he signed for Perth Glory FC. After returning from Indonesia and signing with Perth Glory on the eve of the start of the season, Pantelidis had an outstanding year.
After breaking into the side he played 22 straight games cementing his spot as a no-nonsense and clever centre back. Steve helped Perth Glory reach the Grand Final narrowly losing to Brisbane Roar 2 -1 after a contreversal decision by the referee, he signed a 2-year extension after the final which will see him in Perth till the end of the 2013–14 season. At the end of 2013, Pantelidis left Perth Glory to join Malaysia Super League team Selangor FA, joining former Melbourne Victory coach Mehmet Durakovic. With Melbourne Victory: A-League Championship: 2006–2007, 2008–2009 A-League Premiership: 2006–2007, 2008–2009The Age Young Player of the Year A-League 2006–2007 Gold Coast United profile Oz Football profile
Michael Ferrante is an Australian footballer who plays for Pascoe Vale. He attended St. Joseph's College Melbourne from years 1992–1997 being a star week in week out for his school side, he came through the ranks at the Australian Institute of Sport and from there he moved on to the youth team at West Ham United. He captained the team in one of the games of the 9–0 aggregate FA Youth Cup Final triumph over Coventry in 1999; the team included Joe Cole, Michael Carrick who went on to become established Premiership and England players plus fellow Australian and current Australian international Richard Garcia. He had a spell in Italy with Comprensorio Stabia and Serie C side Benevento Calcio before returning to Australia to join Fawkner Blues in 2004, he joined Melbourne's inaugural A-League squad for season 2005–06 and featured in all of Melbourne Victory league games. Following the signings of Fred and Grant Brebner he was frozen out of the squad for the second season and struggled to make appearances.
He made 21 appearances for Melbourne in 2005–06, scoring one goal, five appearances in 2006–07. After Victory released him from his contract by mutual consent in February 2007, new A-League team Wellington Phoenix signed Ferrante on a two-year deal for the start of the A-League 2007-08 season. In 2010, he returned home to Melbourne. On 12 July 2012 he announced that a major back injury would prevent him participating in the VPL for the remainder of the 2012. By mutual consent his contract was terminated and Richmond released him to sign with Pascoe Vale who sit top of League State 1 and who are managed by his brother Vitale. Correct as of 24 February 2010 Melbourne VictoryA-League Championship: 2006–07 A-League Premiership: 2006–07 Wellington Phoenix profile Oz Football profile
Grant Ian Brebner is a Scottish football player-manager at Australian Victorian Premier League side Richmond SC. Born in Edinburgh, Brebner joined Manchester United as a 16-year-old in 1994, he was loaned out to Cambridge United and Hibernian before being sold to Reading for £300k in 1998. He returned to Hibernian on a permanent basis, made more than 100 appearances in a five-year stint there that included a loan spell with Stockport County. In August 2004, he was transferred to Dundee United, before moving to Australia to play for Melbourne Victory. On leaving school in 1994, Brebner signed for Manchester United as an apprentice, playing in the FA Youth Cup winning side of 1995 and turning professional soon after. FourFourTwo magazine hailed him as the latest big talent to be produced by Manchester United's youth system. After four years in United's youth and reserve teams, Brebner was loaned to Cambridge United, where he scored his first senior goal while making six appearances. A further loan spell was spent back in Edinburgh at Hibernian, where Brebner suffered relegation at the end of the 1997–98 season.
Brebner was transferred permanently to Reading at the start of the 1998–99 season. He was 21 years old, but had never played a single first-team game for Manchester United. During his time at Reading, he scored 10 goals in 41 league games, he was responsible for scoring the first goal at the Madejski Stadium, but he suffered from homesickness during his time at the club. After just one season with Reading, Brebner returned to Hibernian on a permanent deal. Brebner moved on loan again to Stockport County during the 2000–01 season, but established himself in the Hibs first team, playing in the 2001 Scottish Cup Final and the UEFA Cup. Brebner scored a hat-trick against future employers Dundee United in a Scottish Cup match in February 2003, he was latterly club captain at Hibs, was a senior player in the side with young stars like Kevin Thomson and Scott Brown. Brebner was transferred to Dundee United in August 2004, despite having just signed a three-year contract with Hibs, he missed just three matches in his first season with United and scored seven times from 64 appearances in all for United.
Following a change in management at the club, Brebner was informed by his new manager Craig Brewster in April 2006 that he would be allowed to leave the club at the end of the 2005–06 season. On 26 May 2006, Brebner was reported by BBC Sport to be attracting interest from Melbourne Victory, he subsequently flew to Australia for talks with the A-League club. Brebner came on as a trialist and scored for Victory with seconds remaining, in the QNI North Queensland Challenge Trophy game versus Central Coast Mariners on 18 June. Securing a 2–2 draw, Brebner scored the winning penalty to seal a 4–2 shoot-out win. On Brebner's performance, Victory manager Ernie Merrick said: "There's not too much more you can do when you're on trial than come in and win the game, is there?". In Victory's second match on 20 June, Brebner completed the full 90 minutes, playing in a 3–1 win over Chinese team Changchun Yatai. Brebner completed a successful trial period by netting a 28-yard free-kick as Victory won the trophy with a 6–1 win over the Chinese team in the final, on 24 June.
On the back of his impressive displays during his trial, Brebner was signed to a full-time contract with the Melbourne Victory, having agreed on a deal to be released from his Dundee United contract. In his first season, he helped the Victory win the 2006–07 A-League premiership with five rounds remaining; the round 19 clash with Perth Glory away at Members Equity Stadium saw Brebner take the captain's armband for the first time in the absence of regular captain Kevin Muscat and vice-captain Archie Thompson. He scored the last of the five goals against Newcastle Jets in round 3 of the 2008–09 season; this was his second goal for the club, after scoring a late winner against Perth Glory in the 2006–07 season. Brebner received Australian residency status at the start of 2009, which meant he no longer counted towards the Victory's overseas player quota. In December 2008, Brebner was fined A$5,000 and banned for four matches after betting on Victory to lose an Asian Champions League match against Chonburi.
Brebner, who won under $550 in the bet, was not part of the squad. Craig Moore and Kevin Muscat were fined after betting on matches not involving their own clubs. Brebner had confessed to being a gambling addict, losing more than £100,000, received professional help for his addiction; as of 5 February 2010 A-League Championship: 22006–2007, 2008–09A-League Premiership: 22006–2007, 2008–09 Grant Brebner at Soccerbase