A-League and W-League players: coaching in retirement

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When professional players decide to call it a day, they can be presented with multiple career opportunities.

Two of the more high-profile career paths for ex-players are entering into the media or coaching. While you see might see more entering into various media roles, there are still plenty that have turned to coaching.

Here are some from the past few years of the A-League and W-League.

Zenon Caravella

Caravella started his senior football career with former NSL powerhouse, Sydney Olympic FC at the age of 17.

He went on to play for New Zealand Knights, FC Omniworld (now Almere City), Gold Coast United, Adelaide United, Newcastle Jets and FNQ FC Heat before retiring in 2015.

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After retirement, Caravella moved back to his hometown of Cairns and started up his own academy, the Caravella Football Academy.

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Cassio

Before spending seven years at Adelaide United, the Brazilian played for multiple teams in four different countries. The full back went on to play 360 games, scoring 18 goals, 11 of those coming in his time at Adelaide United.

Cassio now runs Academia de Futebol By Cassio, based in Adelaide.

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Josh Rose

Rose is likely best remembered for his time at the Central Coast Mariners, a total of seven years over two separate stints.

He also played for Brisbane Strikers, New Zealand Knights, Universitatea Craiova and Melbourne City before retiring in 2018.

Rose was also part of the A-League All Stars squad that took on Manchester United in 2013. He now runs Rose Football Academy on the Central Coast.

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The Trifiro Brothers

Together the Trifiro brothers run one of the top football academies in Australia, Futboltec, and there are rumours that they are going to be involved in new club, Macarthur FC.

Before that, the brothers had differing professional careers. Glen played with various state league clubs in NSW and Victoria before playing for the Mariners for two years, scoring their first ever FFA Cup goal.

Jason also played with state league clubs before being signed to the Western Sydney Wanderers inaugural A-League squad, later playing for Melbourne City. He was also part of the squad that won the AFC Champions League.

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Nick Rizzo

Rizzo started his professional career in England with Liverpool but would make his Premier League debut with Crystal Palace.

He had a career spanning 17 years and three countries. Rizzo spent three years in the A-League with Perth Glory and the Central Coast Mariners.

He represented Australia at U17, U20 and U23 levels, as well as playing one game for the Socceroos in 1998.

Rizzo now runs the Nick Rizzo Academy in Sydney and is heavily involved with APIA Leichhardt.

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Chris Naumoff

Naumoff is the youngest retiree on this list. Having played for Sydney FC for three years, Naumoff secured a move to Spanish side Numancia but during medical testing, he was found to have a heart disease.

This led to the cancellation of his contract and his subsequent retirement at the age of 21. Naumoff now runs KIK Football, while also coaching with Rockdale City Suns, Sutherland Sharks and Sydney Grammar School.

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Gareth Edds

Edds started his 16 year career in England with Nottingham Forest, before playing for Swindon Town, Bradford City, MK Dons, Tranmere Rovers and finally North Queensland Fury in the A-League.

After the Fury was removed from the league in 2011, Edds would play and coach for the side in the Queensland NPL before starting his own academy, Gareth Edds Soccer Academy.

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Labinot Haliti

Haliti started his senior football career in 2002 and went on to play for 15 years in four different countries.

He is mostly remembered for his time at the Western Sydney Wanderers. During his time at the Wanderers, Haliti scored a historic goal against the Mariners to help his side clinch the A-League Premiership plate.

He was also part of the squad that created history by winning the AFC Champions League. Haliti now runs his own academy, the Haliti Football School, while also acting as an assistant coach for the Wanderers.

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Dean Heffernan

Heffernan started his career in 2002 with the Wollongong Wolves, and would go on to play professionally in Australia, Germany, England and China.

He was part of the Mariners inaugural A-League squad that made the grand final, losing to Sydney FC. Heffernan signed for German side 1. FC Nurnberg on loan but failed to make an appearance.

After playing in England and China, Heffernan returned to Australia and retired from playing in 2018. He now coaches the Wanderers W-League team with Michael Beauchamp.

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Michael Beauchamp

Beauchamp started playing professionally in 2000 with Marconi Stallions, before eventually signing for the Mariners in their inaugural season.

Along with Dean Hefferan, Beauchamp would sign for 1. FC Nurnberg on load, but would transfer to the German club.

After stints in Denmark and the United Arab Emirates, Beauchamp returned to Australia to play for Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

He also spent a year with PTT Rayong in Thailand before retiring in 2018. Beauchamp now coaches the Wanderers W-League team with former teammate, Dean Heffernan.

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Nick Montgomery

Montgomery started his career at English side Sheffield United, making an astonishing 399 appearances over 12 years.

Following a short loan stint at Millwall, Montgomery moved to Australian and spent five years playing for the Central Coast Mariners.

He now plays for NPL Side Wollongong Wolves, while coaching for the Mariners as an assistant coach and head of the Y-League squad.

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Heather Garriock

Garriock enjoyed a long 18-year career as a professional footballer, playing in Australia, the United States, Denmark and Sweden.

She represented Australia 130 times, scoring 20 goals. Garriock retired from playing in 2014 and moved into coaching, starting with the Sydney Uni Women’s team.

She then moved on to be an assistant coach for Australia in 2017, and now coaches Canberra United in the W-League.

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Leah Blayney

Blayney had a relatively short playing career. She started with Sydney FC in 2008, before playing in the United States with Boston Aztec and Boston Breakers.

In between that, Blayney played for Canberra United in the W-League. She then played with Eskilstuna United DFF in Sweden, before an injury ended her career.

Blayney now has a dual rule, being in charge of both the Young Matildas and the Future Matildas program.

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Feature Image Credit: Central Cost Mariners http://gty.im/1161470128

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Declan Smith
Current Sports Media student at University of Canberra. Average footballer