Chris Greenacre has taken temporary charge of the Wellington Phoenix following the departure of Darije Kalezic this week.

He will guide the A-League side for the foreseeable future while the Phoenix go hunting for a new head coach.

We look at five possible candidates for the top job...

Ramon Tribulietx


Many believe the Auckland City mentor has earned his chance to be given a crack at professional level.

Under his guidance over the past decade, Auckland City have set the benchmark for other New Zealand sides to follow, winning eight OFC Champions League titles and attending the FIFA Club World Cup on multiple occasions.

In the 2014 edition, they punched well above their weight, finishing third.

Tribulietx would bring a solid understanding of New Zealand talent and a proven track record to the role.

He would also be a popular appointment with local fans who feel he has earned his stripes and are keen to see if he could make the step to full-time professional coaching.

Aurelio Vidmar

The former Socceroos striker met with members of the Phoenix's top brass even before Kalezic's departure was confirmed.

The fiery Australian had three seasons at the helm of Adelaide United, during which time they reached the Grand Final in 2008/09 and became the first Australian side to contest the Asian Champions League final.

Vidmar also held roles as head coach of the Australian under-23 side and assistant coach of the Socceroos.

Having most recently been employed in Thailand, his main selling points for Wellington would be an intimate knowledge of the A-League and a strong connection with potential Australian recruits.

Tony Popovic

This would be a rock-star appointment with 'Popa' one of the most highly-regarded coaches in this part of the world.

He guided Western Sydney for the first five years of their existence, winning the Asian Champions League in 2014 and building a reputation as a clever tactician and strict disciplinarian.

A big-money move to Turkey last year was short-lived and ill-fated, meaning Popovic is available for a new role.

However, he may well be beyond the financial means of Welnix and is reportedly being lined up to take over from Graham Arnold at glamour side Sydney FC when he leaves to become Socceroos coach.

Rob Sherman

New Zealand Football's former High Performance Manager has emerged as a candidate having made the shortlist for the All Whites job gained recently by Fritz Schmid.

He played professionally for Cardiff City, Swansea City and Hull City before taking up roles with the Welsh FA and then moving to New Zealand.

He was key in setting up the Asia Pacific Football Academy in Christchurch which relocated to the capital and became the Wellington Phoenix Academy.

Highly respected by players and coaches, he has facilitated Pro License coach education in Australia and has developed a deep understanding of the A-League and it's machinations.

Sherman holds the prestigious UEFA Pro License and is reportedly keen to re-enter club coaching.

Des Buckingham

Along with Chris Greenacre, the Englishman was handed interim and then permanent charge of the Phoenix following Ernie Merrick's departure after nine games of the 2016/17 A-League season.

At season's end he was overlooked for a contract extension in favour of Kalezic and left to work with Stoke City's under-23 side in the UK.

However, he is returning to New Zealand to take up dual roles as coach of the New Zealand under-20 side (with Greenacre as his assistant) and assistant coach to Fritz Schmid with the All Whites.

Another job may fill his plate a bit too much, but he was popular with the Phoenix squad and fans and performed admirably in difficult circumstances last season.