Chris Jackson steps in as Cringila caretaker coach

Chris Jackson has fast-tracked his coaching intentions to take on the Cringila role. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO
Chris Jackson has fast-tracked his coaching intentions to take on the Cringila role. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODO

FORMER New Zealand international Chris Jackson will take over as caretaker coach of Cringila Lions for the rest of the season.

The 43-year old will replace Lupco Dafkoski in the top job after club and coach agreed to end their association on Monday night.

The decision comes after Cringila were defeated 6-0 on Saturday against Albion Park White Eagles and is just 24 hours after Fernhill parted ways with coach Julio Miranda.

"We were not happy with the performance, with the way we were going with the team and we decided to get a new coach," club president Ilo Karamacoski said.

"Chris was already in the club and he is an experienced player so we decided to give him a chance."

Dafkoski had taken charge of the Lions at the beginning of the 2013 campaign and guided the club to eighth on the ladder.

His replacement has never coached in the top division and will make his debut in the technical area against South Coast United at Ian McLennan Park on Sunday. Jackson plans to keep his approach simple for his debut match on the sidelines.

"I want to focus on this season and get the boys winning again. We have had a pretty good run apart from the last few weeks but I just want to keep it simple and not change too much," Jackson said. "If you change too much, it becomes counterproductive. Sarge [Dafkoski] put a good base in there so now we will just work from that."

Jackson has spent the past two months off the pitch with a back injury and isn't likely to feature again this season.

He said he always had aspirations of getting into coaching but fast-tracked his decision to take the Lions role.

"I have had offers the last few years but I have always turned them down because my heart wanted to keep playing," Jackson said.

"I have enjoyed playing but with this recent back injury, I thought maybe now is the time to get into it. At the end of the season, the club might be looking for a more experienced coach and I understand that."

Cringila are 10th on the ladder on 14 points, 10 points clear of last-placed Fernhill.

Jackson will have nine matches to demonstrate his potential as a future top-grade coach. The Mercury contacted Dafkoski, who wished his replacement all the best for the rest of the season.

Former Fernhill coach Miranda expressed his disappointment at the decision, maintaining he had the full support of the playing group but was under no illusions about the Foxes current predicament.


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