Football Coaches Australia (FCA) is pleased to announce the addition of Premiership and Championship-winning A-League Men’s coach Ernie Merrick as an FCA Ambassador.
Ernie’s ongoing legacy in Australia football is assured. To date, he has left an indelible imprint on Australian football, and on those he has worked with.
Through his statesman role, FCA looks forward to Australian football coaches continuing to be able to tap into Ernie’s considerable football experience and expertise. Ernie will also be able to provide valuable commentary and insights on FCA issues relevant to coaches in Australia.
Ernie Merrick OAM was a PE teacher, as well as an amateur football player before entering the head coaching ranks.
Ernie’s most recent A-League role was as Newcastle Jets FC Head Coach where he took the Jets to the Grand Final in his inaugural 2017/18 season. He is the former head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport, Hong Kong national football team, and A-League clubs Melbourne Victory FC and Wellington Phoenix FC.
Under Ernie’s leadership, Victory won the 2006–07 A-League Premiership, finished second in the group phase of the 2008 Asian Champions League and in the 2008–2009 season, won the treble, the Pre-Season Cup, the Premiership and the Grand Final.
During the 2009–2010 season, despite severe season-ending knee injuries to key players, Victory once again reached the Grand Final.
In committing to the FCA Ambassador role Ernie stated:
“When asked by FCA to become an Ambassador and Technical Advisor to FCA I felt privileged and honoured. I hope to be able to work with FCA to provide ongoing professional development mentorship to aspiring coaches.”
FCA President Phil Moss acknowledged the appointment by stating:
“Ernie’s credentials as a coach speak for themselves – without a doubt one of the most successful to grace the national competition – but he is also a top-class human being who passionately cares about people so he will add significantly to our organization & our members.”
Long-time football colleague, and current FCA Executive Committee member, Gary Cole endorsed Ernie’s role.
“I have had the pleasure of knowing Ernie (Merrick) since the mid-eighties when he came to Preston Lions in the NSL as a young assistant coach to Billy Murray. Our paths crossed again when he was Head coach of the Victorian Institute of Sport, where he helped develop wonderful players like Vince Grella, Simon Colosimo, Adrian Leijer and Billy Celeski. We then had the opportunity and privilege to help set up and build Melbourne Victory Football Club.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with Ernie as he is a wonderful leader and has the gift of being able to make the complex simple. He is a Pro-Licence Coach, with a teaching and sports science background, yet simplifies rather than confuses, which helps him to be the wonderfully successful coach he is, as well as a great developer of players.”
FCA looks forward to further Australian coach Ambassadorial role announcements within the near future.