Chris Taylor "parts ways" with South! As seen on the club's website,
South Melbourne FC can today confirm that the club has parted ways with head coach, Chris Taylor.
Taylor’s coaching journey at South Melbourne comes to an end after four and a half years, having joined in July 2013 from Dandenong Thunder.
During his time at the club, he secured the league and entrance into the Westfield FFA Cup, including a run in the competition that culminated in an historic Semi-Final against Hyundai A-League outfit Sydney FC.
Speaking to smfc.com.au, SMFC President Leo Athanasakis thanked Taylor for his efforts at SMFC: “Chris has been an integral part of the club and the Senior team over the last four and a half years. We would like to place on record our appreciation of Chris’ contribution and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”
So Chris Taylor has "parted ways" with the club. This is a very sudden turn of events just a month out from the start of the season. The causes which lead to this shock departure are unknown to me. After taking a break towards the end of last year, Taylor was back in control in January, and from his outward demeanour it looked like business as usual.
The vague language used in the club statement will no doubt give rise to a lot of different theories about what happened behind the scenes for Taylor's tenure to end; after all, we had a friendly as recently as last night, and football director Nick Maikousis was in attendance with a big smile. Nature abhors a vacuum, and thus thoughts will automatically go to some sudden and irrevocable breach of trust between Taylor and the board.
Taylor's stint as South coach will mostly be remembered fondly. There were championships and trophies won after a long drought, and a necessary dose of self-respect reestablished onfield. While he had a budget exceeding many of the coaches who came before him, he made it work for him; and it's worth remembering other clubs competed with larger budgets. Sometimes his ultra-pragmatism, despite the results it achieved, put people off; it wasn't always the most rousing style of play.
Not everyone was happy with the playing style, or Taylor's demeanour, or some of his personnel and disciplinary decisions. After the initial novelty of winning after we hadn't won for a long time started to wear off, people would get grumpy in the South way. But the style was never quite as dour as it was made out to be, and the team tended to score more goals than most, naturally playing towards its strengths of having the league's best goalscorer. And when the team did fire up, Taylor's teams would play sweeping wing oriented football that was enjoyable to watch.
On a personal level, I'd like to thank Chris for his service to the club, and for making time to have the odd chat about tactics and personnel decisions.
As for who's next, and what it means for the players we've signed, the players we'd like to sign, and the rest of the coaching staff... well, we all wait with baited breath.