Melbourne City FC can today announce changes to its coaching team ahead of the new season.
Assistant Coach Des Buckingham will depart the Club to take up the role of Head Coach at City Football Group sister club, Mumbai City FC.
Buckingham joined Melbourne City before the start of the Club’s 2020/21 Premiership and Championship winning season. His contribution both on and off the pitch was significant in the season’s success. He brought a level of professionalism to the dressing room, especially with our talented younger players who all looked to him for tactical advice and support as they broke into the A-League squad.
Buckingham also took charge of the team on three occasions during the 2020/21 season in the absence of Kisnorbo, in which he had a perfect winning record.
Des will always be welcome at the Club and his new appointment is a great example of how talent can develop and progress through the City Football Group. We have no doubt Des will be successful in his new venture in Mumbai and we wish him all the best.
A re-shuffle of our A-League coaching structure sees promotions for two young, talented and exciting coaches from within the Club.
Ralph Napoli has been at City since 2014, when he initially joined as Sports Science Coordinator of the A-League squad and Assistant Coach of our youth team.
Napoli has impressed in his time at City, as our Head of Sports Science since 2019 and while often unheralded, has played a huge role in ensuring our squad is in the best shape possible over seasons past. He has spent the last two season’s working alongside Patrick Kisnorbo and is passionate about the CFG’s football philosophy and supporting Kisnorbo in delivering our Melbourne City style of football on the pitch.
Petr Kratky has been with City since 2017 when he joined us as a development coach. Kratky has spent his four years involved with the Academy, and most recently was our Head of Academy and Head Coach of the under-23’s NPL senior team.
These roles have seen him work closely with our young talent and has already worked alongside the departing Buckingham, in assisting our youth in their development.
Melbourne City FC Director of Football Michael Petrillo said:
“On behalf of the Melbourne City football club I would like to sincerely thank Des for his enormous contribution to the success of the team last season. It’s great to see one of our young and up and coming coaches go on to become the Head Coach at Mumbai City FC.
“I’m so proud that we can not only provide pathways for the best young players but also for our coaches. We wish Des every success and are happy to see him continue his journey within the City Football Group.
“The addition of two of our own staff appointed as assistant coaches to the A-League squad will ensure a seamless transition within the coaching panel. Both Petr and Ralph have been at the club for several years and are true City people.”