Ernie Merrick

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Ernie Merrick
Ernie Merrick.JPG
Personal information
Full name Ernest Merrick
Date of birth (1953-01-15) 15 January 1953 (age 64)
Place of birth Edinburgh, Scotland
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Wellington Phoenix (manager)
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1975–1978 Frankston City
1979–1984 Doveton
Teams managed
1979–1984 Doveton (Asst.)
1986 Frankston Pines (Asst.)
1987–1988 Preston Lions FC
1989–1991 Sunshine George Cross
1992–2004 VIS
2005–2011 Melbourne Victory
2011–2012 Hong Kong
2013–2016 Wellington Phoenix
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ernest 'Ernie' Merrick OAM (born 15 January 1953) is a Scottish-Australasian coach, who most recently managed New Zealand football club Wellington Phoenix. He was the former head coach of the Hong Kong national football team and A-League football club Melbourne Victory. He is the most successful coach in A-League history.

Coaching career[edit]

Melbourne Victory[edit]

In his first season at Melbourne Victory in 2005/06, the club failed to live up to its championship aspirations. With Socceroos Archie Thompson and Kevin Muscat in the squad, and the experience of 2 European internationals in Geoffrey Claeys and Richard Kitzbichler, expectations from the Melbourne fans were high. But they were left disappointed when the club finished the season 7th out of the 8 teams. After a promising start which saw them 1st after round 8, when they beat eventual champions Sydney FC 5–0, the team then won only 3 of the last 13 games.

During the second season, The Victory won the 2006–07 A-League Premiership, 12 points clear of second placed Adelaide United. Melbourne faced Adelaide in the A-League Grand Final at the Telstra Dome on 18 February, winning the match 6–0 with Archie Thompson scoring an incredible five goals.

The 2007–2008 season was a return to the disappointment of Merrick's first year in charge however, with the team finishing outside the Top 4 spots and thus failing to progress to the Finals Series.

Melbourne Victory finished second in the group phase of the 2008 Asian Champions League. Gamba Osaka won the group and went on to win the Asian Champion's league.

In the 2008–2009 season, Melbourne Victory won the treble; the Pre-Season Cup, the Premiership and the Grand Final. In the Grand Final, Victory defeated Adelaide United 1–0 to secure their second championship under Ernie Merrick's coaching.

During the 2009–2010 season, The Victory, despite severe season-ending knee injuries to key players, Billy Celeski, Matthew Kemp and star striker Archie Thompson once again reached the Grand Final. Sydney took out the title after extra time on penalties. Kevin Muscat and Marvin Angulo missed their penalty kicks, allowing Sydney to take out the championship.

Merrick in 2010

On 12 March 2011, Ernie Merrick was sacked from his post at Melbourne Victory. The board of Melbourne Victory stated that they were unhappy with Victory's season and the 5–1 defeat by Gamba Osaka in Japan in the opening match of the Asian Champions League. The Chairman of Melbourne Victory, Anthony Di Pietro, said "Our club sets extremely high standards and we are disappointed with the results of the recent A-League season and also our start to the Champions League campaign" and that "Our intent is to continue to be the benchmark club in the A-League. We wish to be successful in Asia and believe this decision will assist in taking us to that level.[1][2][3] Merrick was the last foundation coach to be sacked.

Ernie Merrick was awarded coach of the year in 2007 and again in 2010.

Hong Kong national football team[edit]

The Hong Kong Football Association, on 16 December 2011, confirmed the appointment of Ernie Merrick as the new National Head Coach.[4] On 26 October 2012, it was confirmed that Ernie Merrick left his position as the team's Head Coach.[5]

Wellington Phoenix[edit]

On 20 May 2013, Merrick was announced as the head coach for Wellington Phoenix on a two-year contract, with an option for a third year.[6]

On 5 December 2016, Merrick resigned from the Phoenix following a 2-0 loss to Adelaide United.[7]

Personal Life[edit]

Merrick was born in Edinburgh to a circus family. Before entering the head coaching ranks, he was a PE teacher as well as an amateur football player.[8]

Coaching statistics[edit]

As of 7 March 2015
Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win %
Melbourne Victory Australia 2005 2011 170 74 41 55 43.53
Hong Kong Hong Kong 16 December 2011 26 October 2012 4 2 0 2 50.00
Wellington Phoenix New Zealand 20 May 2013 5 December 2016 94 31 15 48 32.98
Total 268 107 56 105 39.93



With Melbourne Victory:

Personal Honours:


External links[edit]

Preceded by
Lawrie McKinna
Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Gary van Egmond
Preceded by
Aurelio Vidmar
Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year
Succeeded by
Ange Postecoglou