Phoenix appoint new assistant to Kalezic's coaching staff

Hyundai A-League cellar-dwellers Wellington Phoenix have bolstered their coaching ranks with the appointment of Dario Pot as Darije Kalezić’s new assistant coach.

Pot comes in to replace Rado Vidosic who quit the Kiwi club last month.

He comes with 16 years coaching experience in the USA, Bosnia and the Netherlands, including roles as a coach educator for the US Soccer Federation and a technical advisor at the US Soccer Development Academy.

Pot has also worked alongside Kalezic in the past during the Phoenix boss’ time in the Netherlands.

“Dario is a coach with top credentials – he has the highest coaching licence [UEFA Pro Licence] and a Master’s degree in Sport Science from the USA,” Kalezic said.

“Dario and I worked together in 2010 and 2011 at De Graafschap where we enjoyed great achievements, winning promotion together from the second division and maintaining our position in the top league [Eredivisie] the next season.

“He has a very high level tactical awareness, but better than this, he has a good eye for individual development of the player – he’s very open, communicative and enjoys good relationships with the players. I’m delighted to work with Dario again.”

As well as an impressive coaching resume, Pot also played professionally for 11 years in the former Yugoslavia, Germany and the USA.

He retired from playing at 28 to begin his coaching badges.

“I’m excited to be here – these beautiful islands, this lovely city, but first and foremost to help the head coach, to provide the platform from which he can fulfil his philosophy and help the beautiful game develop in New Zealand,” Pot said.

“Darije is a world class coach, he’s intelligent, passionate, driven – he improves the people around him constantly, and my role is very clear, to support Darije as well as all the staff, to improve the results of this football club.

“My first impressions are very positive – the boys here are a great group, very teachable, willing to listen and develop as players, so I hope to be able to assist in communicating Darije’s vision as well as helping young Kiwi players improve.”

Pot will be on the bench for the first time tonight for Phoenix’s clash with Melbourne Victory at Westpac Stadium.