Click here to submit your sports results for The Canberra Times
License article

Melbourne City appoint former Manchester United coach Warren Joyce

Warren Joyce may not be the glamorous name many were hoping for, but the man who will take charge of Melbourne City next season has a long track record in developing players and years of experience at one of the world's most glamorous clubs – Manchester United.

City announced the appointment of the 52-year-old Englishman on Monday morning as he arrived at the Bundoora-based club to meet the players and take his first training session with his new charges.

Up Next

Kachunga's funny Aaron Mooy story

Video duration

More Football Videos

Ronaldo's Portugal pegged back twice by Mexico

Mexico holds Portugal to a 2-2 draw at the Confederations Cup in Russia.

He was described by City vice-chairman Simon Pearce as the perfect fit – a pragmatist who has also coached technically gifted players and led them to success.

"In Warren Joyce, we have a manager with a long and distinguished footballing career, who has proved himself, in many different environments, as both a pragmatic manager and a versatile, driven coach," said Pearce.

"His career achievements, and the many coaching partnerships he has had in the past, suggest an ideal cultural and tactical fit for Melbourne City."

The Manchester City-owned team had been linked with a number of well-known names in the six months since former boss John van 't Schip quit to return to the Netherlands, initially giving assistant Michael Valkanis the chance to prove himself.


But they always insisted that long term they would make what they considered the right choice for the A-League: the sort of coach needed to make City genuine title contenders rather than just appointing a big name because they could afford to.

Fairfax Media flagged Joyce's appointment on Saturday as rumours began to intensify that the former United youth and reserve team coach and Wigan Athletic boss was the man they had settled for.

Joyce has had vast experience as both a player and a coach, including eight years at Old Trafford, where he helped develop United's top youth players and liaised with legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson.

Among those he worked with there were youngsters like Paul Pogba, now the world's most expensive player, and current young England star Marcus Rashford.

But he has also managed in his own right. For two years,  he was head coach at Belgian club Royal Antwerp, an affiliate of Manchester United where many of their younger players have had spells gaining first-team experience.

Before that, at the end of a long on-field career, he was player manager of Hull City in the 1998-99 season, where he orchestrated a major turnaround in the team's fortunes.

At that time, the Tigers were far from the Premier League outfit that they were last season. They were rooted at the foot of England's bottom division and looked set for relegation to the Conference, but Joyce managed to galvanise the squad and they improved after his full-time appointment, avoiding the drop.

More recently he was manager at Wigan Athletic, but his tenure there ended messily. The Latics were struggling all season in the Championship and Joyce was brought in in November to try to save what eventually turned out to be a sinking ship.

He lasted barely four months before being axed, dismissed shortly after returning to work following a serious eye injury. The move did not save Wigan, which was relegated to the third tier of the English game.

He also had a spell at Leeds United as head coach, where three of his players consecutively became the youngest to make a full debut in the Premier League. During his time in Manchester 73 of his players went on to play in the English Premier League and Championship, 44 became full internationals, and 52 made first-team debuts.

Joyce made 884 appearances for Bolton Wanderers, Plymouth Argyle, Burnley, Preston and Hull City, taking his coaching badges during his playing career.

In a statement, Joyce said: "I am delighted to be joining Melbourne City at this time in its evolution. The people at the club, their vision and their values together with the opportunity to help develop and build this team to its full potential, meant that this was an offer which was impossible to turn down. I can't wait to get started."

Brian Marwood, managing director of City football services, who oversaw Warren's recruitment, said:  "Warren Joyce is a manager who sees football as a way of life, not a job. 

"By leading by example throughout his career, he has produced quality technical players, quality tactical players, and ultimately well rounded players on and off the field. And more than that –his teams have consistently won domestic and international trophies. He is the right manager at the right time for Melbourne City."