Berger aids Victory search

Melbourne Victory have enlisted national technical director Han Berger to help in their quest to find a replacement for two-time championship winning coach Ernie Merrick.

Melbourne Victory have enlisted national technical director Han Berger to help in their quest to find a replacement for two-time championship winning coach Ernie Merrick.

The club have confirmed they have received 70 applicants for the job, which was made vacant after Merrick's sudden exit last month.

In a bid to quell the rumour mill which has erupted since Merrick's departure, including suggestions that former Manchester United legend Roy Keane was set to sign on as coach, new Victory chairman Anthony Di Pietro released a statement to fans saying the club was committed to following proper process.

"I can confirm the club has been inundated with applicants for the role, with over 70 resumes received from both national and international candidates," he said.

"Our Board is extremely impressed with the calibre of coaches and we will be taking our time to go through the process to ensure that we find the coach that is the best fit for Melbourne Victory and aligns to our criteria. We will create a short list, before proceeding to the next phase."

The most surprising aspect of the statement was that Berger, who is employed by FFA as technical director to national coach Holger Osieck, will be part of the consultative process.

"Han Berger has offered his services and will also be at our disposal throughout. Mr Berger was instrumental in appointing current Qantas Socceroos Coach, Holger Osieck, and will be available to provide an objective, yet highly credentialed football opinion," Di Pietro said.

"Mr Berger had a long and distinguished coaching career throughout Europe and more recently was Director of Football at De Graafschap."

After an unprecedented period of upheaval at the club, where the founding Chairman, the CEO, the coach, the assistant coach and the football operations manager have all left in the space of three months, Di Pietro assured fans that the Board believes it has the club headed in an upward direction.

"I want to assure everyone that our Board has a very clear direction as to where we want to take our football club in 2011/12 and beyond. We will advise you of our strategic plans throughout the pre-season and importantly keep you abreast of any developments as they occur with regard to our coaching appointment," he said.