Key Points:

Wellington Phoenix have dumped assistant coach Stu Jacobs as the A-League soccer club calls on coach Ricki Herbert to take a more hands-on approach.

Fellow assistant coach Wayne O'Sullivan is understood to have been downgraded to a technical analyst role, The Dominion Post reported today.

It said the moves followed an end-of-season review. The Phoenix finished last in this season's A-League.

Jacobs remains head coach of national league franchise Team Wellington and the New Zealand men's under-20 side, and is expected to return to his role as director of football at Dave Wilson's Ole Soccer Academy in Porirua.

Phoenix chief executive Tony Pignata told the newspaper Jacobs' axing had nothing to do with his performance during the first season and that it was more about what shape they wanted the coaching structure to take.

"It was about moving away from having two assistant coaches, which Ricki felt he didn't need if he was going to be more hands-on," Pignata said.

"It was a difficult decision, because everyone contributed a lot to this season, but for us going forward it's about results and we feel we have to beef up certain areas in the football department - just as we do with players - and that's what we're doing."

It is understood O'Sullivan's role will consist largely of video and technical analysis, with a small coaching element.

Goalkeeping coach Chris Pile is also going, while fitness trainer Paul Emanuel is returning home for personal reasons. Physiotherapist Craig Newland's position has been replaced by the wider "head of medical services" role.

The new position, and that of strength and conditioning coach, will be advertised in the coming weeks.

- NZPA