Central Coast Mariners legend and former Western United assistant coach John Hutchinson has emerged as a potential candidate for a number of vacant A-League coaching jobs.
Hutchinson is currently serving as an assistant to Brian Schmetzer at MLS club Seattle Sounders, which he joined from Western United earlier this season.
However, FTBL has learned that the 40-year-old has come onto the radar of several A-League clubs in recent weeks, who potentially want to lure him back to an Australian dugout for next season.
Hutchinson, who played 228 times and won two Premierships and a Championship with Mariners during his playing days, made his first forays into coaching with the Gosford-based club in 2015 before heading to the Pacific Northwest in 2017.
He spent two seasons in the Seattle Sounders setup, first as an assistant coach with reserve USL side Sounders FC 2 (now Tacoma Defiance) and then as its head coach before returning Down Under to serve as an inaugural assistant to Mark Rudan at Western United.
“As a club we understand talented Aussie coaches and players wanting to test themselves overseas. Football is a global game and we’ll never stand in their way,” Western United CEO Chris Pehlivanis said at the time of Hutchinson’s departure in December 2019.
FTBl understands he left the A-League expansion club on good terms and was well regarded by those that worked with him in Tarneit.
Brisbane Roar became the latest A-League club seeking a new Head Coach after Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler and his assistant Tony Grant confirmed they would not be returning to Australia.
Assistant coach Darren Davies – who served as Roar’s interim boss after the departure of John Aloisi in 2018/19 – and academy boss Warren Moon – formerly a highly-rated NPL QLD coach – are expected to share the interim coaching role in the wake of Fowler’s departure.
Roar join Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers, and Adelaide United who are also without a boss in place for next season.
Both Adelaide and Brisbane intend to appoint an Australian, and while Victory has indicated that they will consider a foreign appointee, it’s likely that they’ll also look to the domestic market given the current travel restrictions.
It’s understood that highly-rated NPL coach Ben Cahn - who missed out on the Roar post to Fowler last season - has quickly emerged as one of the leading candidates for the role.
The four coachless clubs could be joined by Macarthur FC within weeks as Ante Miličić weighs up staying with the Matildas ahead of a rescheduled Olympics and home Women’s World Cup or taking up his position as the inaugural Bulls coach.