Altona City has turned to young, untried coach Aaron D’Antino to lead it during its promotion campaign in the Football Federation Victoria men’s state league 2 next season.
City is only focussed on the assets that D’Antino brings to the table as its new coach, not his age or lack of experience in a head role.
“Some people think we’re going out on a limb by taking such a young bloke in at only 28, but we think he’s perfect for us,” City president Joe Tanti told Star Weekly.
“The boys really respect him; his coaching is very professional and he’s ready to go for next year.
“He’s one of those guys who is really motivated and wants to move forward and potentially be a higher league coach.
“He’s an A-League coach in the making.”
City did not appoint D’Antino through blind faith. He was a playing assistant coach at the club, and worked in a caretaker capacity later in the season.
A central defender, D’Antino was stuck down with injury late in the season, so it gave him time to focus on coaching.
D’Antino filled in for Sam Borg in the latter rounds, and his professionalism shone through.
He also got results, helping finish off Borg’s fine work by taking City to promotion.
“For a bloke who’s so young, he’s got a very mature head on his shoulders,” Tanti said.
“The way that he runs his coaching, it’s something Altona City probably hasn’t had before, in terms of his professionalism.”
City have big expectations of D’Antino and the team next season.
They have no plans on being in a relegation battle.
“It’s a big year for us,” Tanti said. “There’s a lot of clubs that go up and people expect them to go straight back down.
“We’ve turned to Aaron, we’ve put our faith in him, we’re backing him 100 per cent.
“We’re going to expect nothing less than to finish at the pointy end.
“He’s all about playing youth, and that’s one of his main attributes.
“We’re not out chasing too many players,” he said. “He really believes in the boys that we’ve got, and I think he can raise this team another 25 per cent.”
D’Antino has a background in sports science, performance analysis and strength and conditioning.
He has used all of these skills with Melbourne Victory in the A-League over the past four years.
D’Antino will be assisted by Clive Pieterse.