Jean-Paul de Marigny coaching at the Victory in 2014. Picture: Getty ImagesJETSassistant coach Jean-Paul de Marigny says his decision to rejoin Melbourne Victory has more to do with his personal and professional ambitions than uncertainty over his future at the club.
DeMarigny rejoined Victory on Tuesday, 12 months after he moved to the Jetsto be closer to his Sydney-based wife, Donna, after she was diagnosed with cancer.
The former Socceroo joined Victory’s coaching staff in 2013 and was part of their championship-winning season in 2014-2015, but he left the club “in a hurry” after the diagnosis.He received an approach from Western Sydney at the time but instead signed with the Jets, where he was an assistant coach in the first A-League season.
Donna, a teacher, received positivemedical news three weeks ago, and de Marigny took thechance to pick up where he left off at Victory, replacingRado Vidosic.
“We feel that to pick up the pieces it’s the best thing to do at this stage,” de Marigny told the Herald on Tuesday.
“I received a few opportunities, so with those opportunities we got the blessing [from the Jets] to discuss them, and with that I made a decision. I’m grateful for that.
“I’m very confident that the [Jets] will be purchased, but that wasn’t the major issue. The major reason is starting from a year ago when we got the bad news.”
He said Donna was back at work in Sydney, and his moveback to the Victory was important for both of them as she felt “a little bit responsible for certain things”.
“Once Donna got the all-clear three weeks ago, then it was clear in my mind and meant to be that, if an opportunity arose, then I would seriously think about it.”
De Marigny, 52, was proud of the way he and 34-year-old rookie head coach Scott Miller had helped turn around the Jets’fortunes to make them more attractive to prospective owners after Nathan Tinkler’s chaotic reign.
“We were able to work to get them to the level where it could be sold and give them a platform to be successful going forward.
“It’s one of the big clubs in the league, and it’s just been misguided and disrespected by the previous owners.I’m hoping the new owners understand their responsibility to make this a big club.”
Speculation has mounted over the past two months that former Central Coast Mariners coach Lawrie McKinna will be appointed Jets chief executive under the ownership of Chinese businessman Martin Lee, who has been negotiating with the FFA to buy the club.
A Jets statement on Tuesday said the club had started looking for a replacement forde Marignyand intended to have someonein place before pre-season training begins in late June.
De Marigny said he had enjoyed his time working with Miller.
“I was pretty disappointed the way that it went the year before [under Tinkler]. I was employed to help Scotty through the local landscape and obviously mentor him in a certain manner. It worked out well.
“We never knew each other, but the relationship was very strong, honest and transparent. We picked up a few things off each other andgot the club in a position where there was a bit of interest there.”