Deans to step down as Newcastle A-L coach

·2-min read

Just four months after being appointed to the role permanently, Craig Deans has announced he'll step down as Newcastle's head coach at the end of the A-League season.

The 47-year-old was placed in interim charge of the Jets following Carl Robinson's move to Western Sydney last October, before being appointed full-time coach in February.

In 24 matches so far this season the Jets have claimed just four wins and sit bottom of the ladder heading into Saturday's penultimate game against Perth.

Tuesday's 2-0 win over Central Coast snapped a 14-game run for the Jets without a win and gives them hope of avoiding a wooden spoon, sitting one point behind Melbourne Victory with two matches to play.

Deans told his squad after training on Thursday of his intention to step down, stating he would be happy to stay on at the club in some capacity but the past 18 months had taken its toll.

"I've had conversations with the club starting three or so weeks ago around my role and what I think is best for the future of the club," Deans said.

"The decision is that I'll step down.

"I'll finish the season off and 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.

"From my perspective, it's a case of being worn out with the situation of being the head coach here.

"The last 18 months or so have been pretty tough and you put on a brave face every week and try and put a positive spin on everything but that takes a toll as a person. I think it's best I make the decision and we make the change."

Arthur Papas, Ange Postecoglou's assistant in Yokohama F. Marinos' J-League title-winning campaign in 2019, has been linked to the role.

Papas recently parted company with Japanese third-tier outfit Kagoshima United after a brief spell in charge and would be returning to the Hunter having been an assistant to Gary Van Egmond a decade ago.