New Western Melbourne assistant coach John Anastasiadis has promised an exciting brand of football after being announced as part of Western Melbourne Group’s inaugural coaching staff for next-season.

Speaking on Evenings on FNR, Anastasiadis believes the style of football the expansion side will play attacking brand from the onset, pleasing fans.

“We want to play very positive attacking football,” Anastasiadis said.

“It is all about pleasing the crowd and they pay to come and watch a good game of football and that is what we want our players to produce on any given game day.”

Anastasiadis, who currently coaches NPL Victoria’s Bentleigh Greens, is excited by the opportunity to take his coaching to a professional level.

“It is an amazing opportunity,” Anatasiadis said.

“For me, I have been working so hard for all these years in the NPL Victoria,”

“I am very grateful to the Western Melbourne Group for giving me this great challenge and great opportunity to be apart of this new project.”

Anastasiadis will remain head-coach of Bentleigh for part of the upcoming NPL season before making the shift at midway point of the upcoming campaign.

“At the moment, I will still be coaching Bentleigh until around mid-May/early-June,” Anastasiadis said.

“But from here on end until then, with WMG I will be looking out for players,”

“We will be going through the recruiting with the other board of directors and choosing the right type of people we want to be around the club.”

The 50 year-old, who coached Bentleigh to two FFA Cup semi-finals with the most recent being in the last edition of the cup, says the side will look to recruit “good people” who are able to be a part of the club’s philosophy while attracting new fans to the stadium.

“They have to have really good characters, really good people,” Anastasiadis said.

“Secondly, to be able to really a part of our philosophy and our style of play,”

“Really, we want players who represent what the club is about and what the culture is going to be about,”

“We want the players to be able to attract people to the ground and I am sure from here on in whoever comes to our club will embrace what we are all about.”

Western Melbourne Group are yet to announce who will take the club into its first season as head coach.

“To be fair, I really don’t know because this has just been announced today, so I am not sure what is happening with the head coach role,” Anastasiadis said.

“It is very exciting to see who the head-coach is and being able to bounce ideas off him,”

“Hopefully our philosophies align and we have an excellent style of play where we play an attacking style of football that will excite the crowd.” Anastasiadis said.



Anastasiadis has coached in Victoria’s top division since 2005 and believes the side will look to recruit some NPL players who will be given a trial upon selecting their squad for next season.

“We are always looking in our own backyard,” Anastasiadis said.

“There are NPL players who can step up to the plate and for sure they will be brought in to be trialled and have a look at.”

He also believes the success of Mark Rudan at Wellington Phoenix and his appointment at Western Melbourne Group has opened the door for more NPL coaches to eventually make the move to A-League clubs as the league expands over the next few years.

“There are some very good coaches in the NPL,” Anastasiadis said.

“They have proven they can do a job as well as any foreigners,”

“I have no doubt that the door has been opened now and the new expansion teams that we will be having in the next three-four-five years will be adopting that approach to actually hiring local coaches.”

The new assistant-coach also lamented that the side will face challenges upon their inception in the league next season and has exemplified that the side will be looking for instant success along with embracing the local Western Melbourne community.

“There is always going to be challenges,” Anastasiadis said.

“We want to be a club that embraces the community, a club that is the peoples club and that is probably the biggest challenge,”

“We want success from day one.”

“We don’t shy away from that and we are not here to make up the numbers.”

“We want to be remembered as a club that success has got to be the number one priority.”

Nick D’Urbano