Kevin Muscat wanted to celebrate his incredible time at Melbourne Victory after the head coach’s departure from the club was announced on Monday.
Muscat will leave Victory after 14 years as a player, assistant coach and head coach, with Wednesday’s AFC Champions League game against Sanfrecce Hiroshima in Melbourne to be his last at the helm.
The former captain will depart the club after winning four championships, three premierships and an FFA Cup.
Speaking at a news conference on Monday, Muscat said Victory should be celebrated for its success.
“Although this is an emotional time, I’d like to look upon it as a time of celebration,” he said.
“Celebrating what we’ve built together, celebrating what we’ve achieved together, celebrating 14 strong years together and also the success that we’ve earnt together.”
Muscat took over as Victory head coach in late 2013 and led the club to four trophies while at the helm.
The 45-year-old former Australia international, who was emotional throughout the news conference, was thankful for the support he has received.
“To all the players that I played with at the football club, to the players and the people I’ve coached, to all the staff I’ve worked with, thank you wholeheartedly from my time as a manager at the club,” Muscat said.
“Trimmers (Paul Trimboli) and Anth (Anthony Crea), you two guys have been with me the whole journey.
“Everybody in the office, as you can imagine there’s been a lot of comings and goings over 14 years so thank you for all your support in dealing with me and having to put up with me over a long period of time.
“To our members and fans, where do you start? Your unbelievable passion and support, not only for me but for our great football club, has been unprecedented. We’ve shared many great memories and earnt many great memories together and for that I thank you.
“I’ve mentioned the chairman (Anthony Di Pietro) and Mario (Biasin) earlier, but I also want to extend my gratitude to the board – many of you are in the room – but also past board members who have helped create what we have today in relation to our strong and proud football club.
“And finally, I told myself I wouldn’t do it because I’d get too emotional, but to my family. It’s funny cos’ James, I carried him into this room when I first joined the club and now he walks in towering over me. It goes to show how times have changed and my brother and sister and mum and dad have ridden every bump with me and obviously Victoria for your undivided support and my thanks and love go out to you.”