City job a “no-brainer” for the Postecoglou-, Mombaerts-, Arnold-influenced Vidošić

Having made Melbourne City his home, Rado Vidošić had no hesitation in accepting the offer to become the defending premiers’ permanent coach, the veteran eager to bring to bear the lessons and influences gleaned over a long career in the A-Leagues to the job.

After initially being appointed on an interim basis following Patrick Kisnorbo’s move to Ligue 1 side Troyes, Vidošić was announced as the club’s full-time coach earlier in the week, signing a contract that will see him take charge of the side until the end of the 2024/25 season. 

After suffering their first defeat of the season in his initial game in charge against Sydney FC, City has since gone seven games unbeaten under Vidošić and sits seven points clear atop the A-League Men (ALM) table. 

Though the agreement was reached with the veteran coach last week, players were told of the decision by City’s director of football Michael Petrillo on Monday, a couple of days on from them putting in arguably their best performance of the season in a 6-1 hammering of Macarthur FC.

“It was a fantastic opportunity. I’m enjoying every minute that I’m working and spending time with the players. It was a no-brainer,” said the 61-year-old. 

“I didn’t even speak to my wife, I just continued. I said this is it, it’s happening. Even when I got the interim job, the club told me that if everything went ok and if you enjoy it and players are showing that they are appreciating your ideas then we can continue for longer. 

“That was the talk from before our first game in Sydney that we lost. We had three draws and the club was always very supportive; saying that they can see that we are progressing, we are playing good football, and we are creating more than enough chances. Maybe we’re making some mistakes and we didn’t score enough goals in those games.

“All that is just very positive from my point of view, that everyone is showing that there’s a trust and belief in what we are doing. On the weekend we got rewarded for all the hard work and scored enough goals and everyone is happy. 

“And the club did let me know, listen it’s not because we won, there were some paperwork problems… but there were no problems from my point of view. 

“It was a good day for me and my family.

“Now we are focusing on Perth on Saturday.”

Shifting over from the club’s A-League Women program to cover Kisnorbo’s departure – his son Dario now leading a side that his father led to the 2019-20 title – Vidošić is exceedingly well entrenched within the City setup – serving at one time or another as the club’s youth coach, technical director, women’s boss and now men’s coach. 

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Building on the foundation laid by Erick Mombaerts and the professionalism and intensity instilled within the group by Kisnorbo, Vidošić has attempted to instil a new sense of creative freedom and improvisation amongst City’s players since taking over. 

However, with the veteran possessing a long career in Australian football even before he landed at City, those aren’t the only influences he’s bringing to the job. 

“When you start your coaching journey you never know where it’s going to take you, what you’re going to learn and what you’re going to develop into,” he said. 

“I was fortunate enough to work with some fantastic coaches like Ange Postecoglou, Graham Arnold, Frank Farina, and Kevin Muscat. When you work with people like that you learn a lot, not just about football, but about yourself. 

“You see how they deal with stick situations. You see how they deal with a great week, a not-so-good week and a terrible week. You learn. Being a head coach, it’s more about management, it’s like being a firefighter. You’ve got all these emotions that are always going up and down. 

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a lot of these good quality coaches. I took bits and pieces from every single one of them. Being very close here with Erick and with PK. PK was a big influence on the team and Erick had a huge influence on everyone at the club with his philosophy, and methodology. So when you step into the culture, the environment that has been created prior, it’s a very easy and smooth transition. It wasn’t that hard.”

His new status confirmed, Vidošić and City’s thoughts will now turn to Perth Glory, who they will take on at Perth’s home at Macedonia Park on Saturday evening. 

Six games unbeaten, Glory has turned their temporary home digs into a bit of a fortress since moving in, going on an unbeaten run that included a 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory that impressed Vidošić. They’ve also added Socceroo attacker Adam Taggart to their ranks during the January transfer window. 

Conversely, there were no new arrivals at Casey during this period, while little-used midfielder Taras Gomulka was the only player to leave the club, signing with Brisbane Roar in search of more minutes.

“They’ve been fantastic,” Vidošić said of Perth. “We looked at their game against City at the start of the season when City won 4-0. They are definitely a different side since then. 

“They’ve got a very energetic, young coach, who has got them playing some really nice football. They’re tough to break. They’re capable of scoring goals and they are defending very, very well.

“We had a few players that we were talking to [during the window] but unfortunately nothing materialised. We’re going to see if we can get those players over the line in the winter or the European summer. 

“But at the moment we are happy with what we’ve got. We’ve got quite a few young players training with us from our academy and I think that’s one big important part of our development, the progression of those players into the senior squad. So we don’t really depend on signing players on short-term contracts if we can replace them from within.”

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Header Image Credit: Melbourne City

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