Erick Mombaerts named Coach of the Year at Dolan Warren Awards
Erick Mombaerts departs Melbourne City after one season in charge, but his impact will forever be remembered after the Frenchman was named Coach of the Year at the Hyundai A-League's edition of the Dolan Warren Awards.
Mombaerts arrived at the club in June, 2019, replacing former boss Warren Joyce who took the side to a fifth-place finish and an Elimination Final exit in the 2018/19 season.
The veteran coach ventured down-under with experience at fellow City Football Group outfits Manchester City and Japanese outfit Yokohama F. Marinos, with the intention of implementing the attractive brand of attacking football implemented across the board at CFG clubs.
Mombaerts managed to do just that, recruiting Socceroos spearhead Jamie Maclaren and placing him at the tip of a side brimming with attacking talent.
Maclaren scored 22 regular-season goals to end the campaign as the league's top scorer as City finished with a club record points tally of 47 and a best-ever finish of second on the table.
Long considered under-achievers, City shook off the labels which have defined their existence in the Hyundai A-League since the club's inception as Melbourne Heart; under Mombaerts they found the confidence and grit to make a deep run into the Finals Series, edging past a gallant Western United in the Semi-Finals before taking Sydney FC into extra time on the biggest stage.
The Grand Final ended 1-0 in the Sky Blues' favour, but despite experiencing the disappointment of defeat in the club's first appearance on the league's final day Mombaerts' men can hold their heads high for the gutsy display they produced which defied assumptions of their frailty on the biggest stage.
As quickly as Mombaerts came, however, the 65-year-old has departed the club, with City placing the faith in former player Patrick Kisnorbo to lead them into the 2020/21 campaign.
Kisnorbo served as Mombaerts' Assistant Coach throughout the club's best-ever Hyundai A-League season, and will hope to build on the rock-solid foundation laid by the Frenchman on his way to being honoured as Coach of the Year in 2019/20.