Trani leaves Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is on the hunt for a new assistant after Luciano Trani decided to move back to his native Australia for family reasons.

Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert is on the hunt for a new assistant after Luciano Trani decided to move back to his native Australia for family reasons.

Trani, who has been with the Wellington A-League club for the past two seasons, will take up a coaching role with Adelaide United.

"The past two years have been a fantastic experience for me and I will always be grateful to Ricki and (owner) Terry (Serepisos) for giving me the opportunity," Trani said.

"I am sad to leave Wellington and the Phoenix because it has been a real joyous two years in my life."

"It was a huge challenge and taking someone on from Australia was a risk for the club in some ways but I like to think myself and Gouldy (goalkeeping coach Jonathan Gould) have repaid the club's faith by helping it reach the finals for the past two seasons."

Gould announced he was leaving the club a couple of weeks ago to take up a position as New Zealand Football's Hawke's Bay development officer.

Trani's decision to leave comes after the death of his mother two months ago and his father being admitted to hospital. He has also been apart from his wife Melinda who remained in their Melbourne home when he made the move across the Tasman.

"Throughout the two years I've been away she has been nothing but supportive. But it is time for me to spend more with her and Adelaide is a lot closer to Melbourne than Wellington.

"My mother's passing hit the family very hard. My father is grieving and is in hospital at the moment. He, along with my brother and sister, need my support."

Herbert said the affable Australian would be missed.

"Luc has been incredibly loyal and has done a great job but I totally understand that he needs to be closer to home during what has been a very difficult period for him," he said.

They were sentiments echoed by Phoenix chief executive Nathan Greenham.

"We regard Luciano's departure as a big loss. He has been a key part of the club over the past two seasons but realise why he has decided to return to Australia."