Phoenix closing in on Head Coach target

Tuesday, 28th February 2006
Manchester Phoenix are closing in on the leading target for the vacant head coaching position, and are hoping to conclude a contract offer within the next ten days. Since advertising the position at Christmas, the club received applications from forty interested parties and the due diligence and research has taken longer than expected.
Club Spokesperson Andy Costigan admitted, “when we placed the adverts, we were hoping to have made the appointment by the end of February. Due to not only the number but, quality of the applicants, the research has been that much more extensive. And we’ve made use of every possible contact we’ve made over recent years, especially in North America, to obtain as clear a profile as possible on all the leading candidates. When you get help and opinion from NHL organisations and personnel, it's sensible to listen and learn.”
Whittling forty down to a more manageable number wasn’t easy as Phoenix MD Neil Morris confirmed, “I tasked Andy to bring me a short list of four or five for serious interview purposes. Andy talked with all the leading candidates and their references, and I don’t think he was sitting on a fence when he came to me with nine, I just hope he doesn’t bring me his ‘phone bill. Seriously, nine was too big an interview schedule so we then reduced it to six and that’s where we been working recently.”
Morris confirmed that the short list of six had all been interviewed and that the final choice for a contract offer is imminent. “We’ve spoken at length to them all, we’ve sat down with our budgets and now we feel confident to go ahead and make the offer to the leading candidate, and that will probably take place later this week.”
Phoenix are remaining tight-lipped about who the short listed coaches were as Costigan explained, “we made a commitment to everyone that we would not divulge any names. Most are currently with clubs in other countries and we have no desire to put anybody in a potentially embarrassing situation should their name be correctly, or mischievously, linked with the Phoenix.”
Neil Morris ended by stating, “we know the fans and people in the game are keen if not anxious to learn who we want, but right now all I will confirm is that the leading candidate is coaching in another country and it’s our intention to bring him to the Elite League Finals weekend unless his current teams playing commitments prevent that.”