Head coach Ramon Tribulietx has departed Auckland City FC after 11 years with the club.
Club chairman Ivan Vuksich thanked Tribulietx for his outstanding contribution to Auckland City FC where he helped the club set a raft of domestic and international records including a bronze medal finish at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014.
“Ramon has been the driving force behind our success for over a decade and his achievements at domestic and international level in terms of winning trophies won’t be matched for a very long time,” said Vuksich.
“But the club is undergoing significant changes to its financial structure that mean we have to move in a fresh direction and our search for the next person to lead us into the future begins.
“I want to thank Ramon for his outstanding service over the past 11 years and have no doubt there will be demand for his expertise,” he added.
Tribulietx’s connections with Auckland City FC stretch back to his days as a player at Central United 20 years ago but it was his achievements as head coach that are unparalleled in New Zealand domestic football.
After a short stint as assistant coach under Paul Posa, Tribulietx took over as head coach alongside Aaron McFarland in September 2010 following Posa’s retirement.
In his first season he managed the team to its third OFC Champions League title, the first of seven consecutive title wins that provided an uninterrupted run to the FIFA Club World Cup between 2011 and 2018.
Tribulietx won no less than 26 competitions during his tenure, a haul that included seven OFC Champions League titles, three ISPS Handa Premiership titles and a record seven premierships, five Charity Cup wins and two international tournament victories in the OFC President’s Cup and Nike Lunar New Year Cup.
His team twice held the record for longest unbeaten run in the OFC Champions League, the first run covering 27 matches across a six-year period and the second a 29-match undefeated streak covering just under five years.
The Navy Blues also put together an astonishing run of 15-consecutive ISPS Handa Premiership and OFC Champions League clean sheets in unbeaten run that saw goalkeeper Enaut Zubikarai unbeaten for 1,582 minutes, the fourth best by any goalkeeper in history.
Zubikarai also set a standalone OFC Champions League competition record for most minutes without conceding a goal with an astonishing 1,080 minutes without picking the ball out of his net.
Tribulietx’s side was nominated for a Halberg Award in 2014-15 season while he also picked up Sport Auckland Coach of the Year in his second season as head coach. Under his watch Auckland City FC also won three consecutive OFC Champions League Fair Play Awards.
His pinnacle achievement was Auckland City FC’s run to the bronze medal at the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014 after memorable wins over Moghreb Tetouan, ES Setif and Cruz Azul and coming within a whisker of upsetting then South American champions San Lorenzo in a nail-biting semi-final.
“I’ve had 11 years with the club and it’s been a very long journey, a lot longer than I expected it to be. I never thought at the beginning of my tenure that I would be at Auckland City FC for as long as that and it’s an achievement I am very proud of.
“A lot of hard work has gone into making the club successful but none moreso than at the start when we completely changed the playing philosophy and style of the team.
“My best memory is our bronze medal finish at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco five years ago.
“That was an unbelievable achievement given the level we had to reach to compete with professional clubs of huge potential and standard. We reached a level that is difficult to get to and to finish with a medal is incredible.
“For a club of our size to achieve that on the world stage will remain with me for the rest of my life. I want to thank everyone connected to the club for their support including the club committee, the coaching staff, supporters and of course all of the players I worked with during my tenure,” he said.
Vuksich said the club is looking to freshen things up and the next head coach would have more involvement with the running of the club’s academy programme following the departure of Camilo Speranza who has taken on a fulltime coaching role in the Ecuadorian top flight.
“We are now accepting applications for the vacant coaching position and we expect the new candidate to also take on some responsibility for what is happening within our academy programme.
“There is a lot of work to be done and we hope to have the new person in place by the end of June,” he said.