Western Melbourne Group (WMG) today has signed one of the most successful Victorian NPL coaches in John Anastasiadis, who will take up an assistant coach role ahead of the club’s first season in the Hyundai A-League.
He gained national fame for taking Victorian NPL side Bentleigh Greens (who he joined in 2011) to within one game of the FFA Cup Final 2015.
In the NPL (Australia’s state-based second-tier league underneath the Hyundai A-League), Anastasiadis has built a hugely successful CV with the Greens.
He won the Dockerty Cup in 2016, the Community Shield in 2016 and 2017 and premierships in 2016 and championships in 2015 and 2017.
In his heyday, the 50-year-old was a top striker playing at highly rated Greek club PAOK FC at just 19. He also played in the NSL with South Melbourne and Heidelberg before building his career as a coach.
“John knows Victorian football through and through, has been an advocate for the NPL and has proved himself to be a hugely successful coach at NPL level and in the FFA Cup,” said Western Melbourne’s Group’s Football Director and former Socceroo Steve Horvat.
“This signing again shows our commitment to Victorian football and building a bridge between the NPL and Hyundai A-League.
“There are many great Australian coaches at the NPL level such as John and we’re delighted he joins us as an assistant coach.
“With John, we’ll be able to tap into his vast knowledge of the game in this state and his huge passion for football. His ethos and track record fits with what we're building in the West.”
Anastasiadis, 50, said joining a new Hyundai A-League club in his home state was a dream come true and he wasn't taking anything for granted.
“I’ve done the hard yards in the NPL and have been successful through hard work. I’m now grateful to Western Melbourne Group that I now have an opportunity to further my career at such an ambitious club on the national stage.
“I’m Victorian through and through, always give 100% and want desperately to help make this club a success for the community of the West.
“And with our own stadium in Tarneit to be built and funded privately, the club truly represents the region.
“We are a club for the future, and I’m ready to roll my sleeves up and work even harder for my new club and the community of the West," added a delighted Anastasiadis.
Western Melbourne Group were one of the two successful bidders announced in December 2018 by FFA. The club will join the Hyundai A-League from the start of the 2019/20 Season beginning in October of this year.