Hyundai A-League championship winner joins Western Melbourne Group coaching staff

Western Melbourne Group (WMG) have added a legend of the Hyundai A-League to their staff, with former Central Coast Mariners skipper John Hutchinson signed as an assistant coach ahead of the inaugural season in the Hyundai A-League.

Victorian-born Hutchinson joins the club after two years coaching in the USA with the Seattle Sounders’ USL side.

As a player, Hutchinson appeared more than 200 times in the Hyundai A-League with the Mariners, leading the club to their maiden Championship in 2013.

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He is the second coaching announcement by the new club, following the appointment of John Anastasiadis also as an assistant two weeks ago.

“I’m a passionate Victorian who loves football and wants success. The community in Western Melbourne want hard workers who are committed to the club 100% every day,” Hutchinson said.

“That’s what I am and that’s what I’ll be – 100% committed to working every day to help the club become as successful as it can be. The hard work starts now.

“Hopefully my experience in Seattle, who have been one of the success stories off the pitch in the MLS, and my A-League experience will help the club. And I must say, building our own privately funded football-only stadium in Tarneit is a fantastic idea that will bring the community and club together.”

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Hutchinson, who started his career in the region playing for Gippsland Falcons in the NSL, also brings international experience to the club.

As a Maltese international, ‘Hutch’ lined up against the likes of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden in FIFA World Cup qualifiers during his two-year stint with Malta.

“We’re absolutely delighted to bring John into the Western Melbourne Group family. Attracting home, a highly rated young Victorian coach shows what our club is all about and shows our commitment to home-grown coaches and those with community values,” said Western Melbourne’s Group’s Football Director and former Socceroo Steve Horvat.

“Having worked in the US with a relatively new club like Seattle will also help Western Melbourne. We’re a community club and John’s commitment to community was on show in the Central Coast for many years.

“Furthermore, his experience, passion for football in Victoria and knowledge will be invaluable as we begin assembling our inaugural squad.”

Western Melbourne Group were one of the two successful bidders announced in December 2018 by FFA.

The club will join the Hyundai A-League from the start of the 2019/20 Season beginning in October of this year.

John Anastasiadis