- Associated Press - Monday, May 8, 2017

SYDNEY (AP) - A-League winning coach Ernie Merrick has signed a two-year deal to coach Newcastle in the Australian football tournament.

Scotland-born Merrick has coached in 241 A-League games and guided Melbourne Victory to the 2007 and 2009 premierships. He quit his most-recent role as coach of the Wellington Phoenix midway through the season which ended Sunday.

Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean was linked to the Newcastle job but reportedly lost out because of Merrick’s greater A-League experience.

Newcastle chief executive Lawrie McKinna said “at this point in the club’s development we believe it is crucial that someone with a deep understanding of the A-League both on and off the pitch takes charge of our first team and football department.”

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