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Valkanis to give all to City in A-League

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 5/01/2017 Ben McKay

Melbourne City fans will see a passionate but in-control manager on the touchline on Friday night when Michael Valkanis becomes the club's third coach.

Valkanis follows John van 't Schip and John Aloisi into the City hot seat, debuting as the club's caretaker coach against Western Sydney at AAMI Park.

The 42-year-old has plenty of backroom experience, carrying out the same job at Adelaide United in 2013 after the Reds' dismissal of John Kosmina.

But it's been a strange week for the one-time Socceroos' centre-back, thrust into a senior coaching role out of nowhere.

"John gave me a call and he spoke to me and we met up the next day," he said.

"I'm not going to lie (and say) we didn't get emotional about it. It's amazing in the short time how much we bonded and how close we really got.

"When he told me, I was in complete shock.

"He's got full faith in me and believes I can do the best to take the team moving forwards."

The 42-year-old could be caretaker for one match or the rest of the season.

City maintain they won't be rushed into making a full-time appointment.

Valkanis wouldn't be drawn on whether he was interested in being a candidate for the ongoing position, saying he was only interested in "getting results, playing good football and helping the team get a little bit back on track".

And there won't be a change in style at AAMI Park, where the City way transcends the head coach.

"There's a philosophy at this club and I think I was brought in here because I'm a believer," he said.

"I worked under John because we were both on the same page ... our philosophy doesn't change."

Valkanis won his solitary cap in 2006 in Australia's first match after their World Cup exit.

The centre-back featured in a 2-0 win against Kuwait alongside several enduring A-League contempories - Kevin Muscat, Alex Brosque, David Carney, Jade North and Matt McKay - and under Graham Arnold, now Sydney FC coach.

He said City fans could expect to see an enthusiastic manager on the touchline against the Wanderers.

"I'll probably be standing up and giving a lot of instruction," he said.

"I'm a little bit different to what I used to be (as Adelaide caretaker) and to what I used to be as a player.

"But the passion won't go out of me. That's, I believe, one of my strongest points.

"It's amazing how things pan out sometimes, being at one of the biggest clubs in Australia.

"I'm comfortable because it is a great club and I'm amongst great people.

"I'm going to enjoy it. I'm going to give it everything I've got."

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