Arthur Papas has finally got his first A-League head coaching role, taking over the Newcastle Jets on a two-year deal.
Papas, and Western United assistant coach John Anastasiadis, have been two of the longest serving NPL coaches to be speculated unsuccessfully with an A-League coaching role.
He has previously worked with the Newcastle Jets as an assistant Y-League head coach, in 2011.
He also previously coached the Joeys and then a move to India led to his first fully professional appointments at Indian clubs Palian Arrows and Dempo.
Papas then came to national attention through his strong work with Victorian NPL sides Oakleigh Cannons and Green Gully, winning the NPL VIC coach of the year and becoming an FFA Cup specialist at Gully.
He now rejoins the Jets in the head capacity after his mainstream breakthrough working under Ange Postecoglou at Yokohama. This led to a head role at J3 League club Kagoshima United, however Papas soon left for family reasons.
“It’s an honour for me to become the manager of the Newcastle Jets," Papas said.
"It’s a wonderful story having been part of the Jets almost 10 years ago and to be coming back here now as manager to lead a club desperate to improve. I’m incredibly excited to work here.
"At the moment there is a lot of work happening behind the scenes but the overall aim is always to make our supporters happy, and to do that we need to proceed with a recognisable style of play, a team that plays without fear to attack and a team that resonates with such a hard-working community."
Paps takes over a club that finished second last the previous season and is dealing with the retirement of Football Director and CEO Lawrie McKinna.
Newcastle have already parted ways with a significant amount of experienced players, such as Roy O'Donovan, and are heavily linked with younger talent like Cameron Devlin.
It will be a difficult ask for Papas to rebuild the Jets, but Papas finally getting a shot at an A-League role is a sign of a league-wide renewed faith in Australian coaches.
After Warren Moon's success last season with Brisbane Roar, Anastasiadis is a genuine contender for Western's role, while Ben Cahn is also shortlisted for the Central Coast Mariners' vacant coaching position.
There is now certain to be at least nine Australian coaches in the A-League next season, with Carl Robinson currently the only foreigner in the competition, and arguably the biggest underperformer.
Newcastle Chair Shane Mattiske said Papas' work under Postecoglou makes his ripe for the Jets head role.
“Arthur comes to the Club after building a significant resume in both the elite Australian football systems and more recently in overseas football structures,” he said.
“He was the understudy to Ange Postecoglou, who has just established himself as the most successful Australian coach in Europe, with his appointment at Celtic and Arthur comes to us from a lead role within Japanese football.
“Arthur will establish a strong football structure and bring a football philosophy focused on positive play, fierce competition and speed in attack.”