The Newcastle Jets are on the hunt for a new mentor after head coach Craig Deans declared he was stepping down from the role next season.
The news soured the A-League club’s surprise 2-0 victory over derby rivals Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday evening.
Deans admitted the position had taken its toll on him.
“From my perspective, it’s a case of being worn out with the situation of being the head coach here,” he stated.
“The past 18 months or so have been pretty tough.
“You put on a brave face every week and try and put a positive spin on everything.
“But, that takes a toll on a person.
“I think it’s best I make the decision and we make the change.
“I’d like to stay.
“I’ve had a chat with the club about staying on in another capacity, however that’s still a few weeks away.”
Deans said his decision wasn’t sudden.
“I’ve had conversations with the Jets starting three or so weeks ago around my role and what I think is best for the future of the club,” he explained.
“I’ll simply step down – however, I’ll finish the season off.
“It’ll give the club the opportunity to find someone who can come in and have a full pre-season and the rest of this season to look at the players and plan a pre-season and bring in the players they need, which is something we didn’t have last year.”
It’s been a difficult 2021 for the Jets, who sit last of the ladder – just one point behind the Melbourne Victory.
However, Archie Goodwin and Lucas Mauragis provided a shining light during the week.
The pair was instrumental in the much-needed win.
Goodwin set up the first goal for Roy O’Donovan before Mauragis fired the Jets’ second past Mark Birighitti just moments later.