Top coach stands down after just five games in charge
IPSWICH Knights new head coach Danny Wilson is confident of taking his promising team forward after highly regarded co-coach Graham Ross stood down.
Ross, 49, has stepped aside after just five Brisbane Premier League football matches, citing increased work and family reasons.
Ross is heavily involved in a successful Queensland-based Nike teamwear company that has international connections.
He leaves the club with the Knights in 10th place with one win and two draws. However, that followed a successful pre-season where the Knights made the Silver Boot competition final for the first time.
Ross said a week working in Sydney helped him make his decision.
"I've just got back,'' the Red Lion managing director said.
"With my work I have to travel a lot.
"I was trying to get back for at least one night training and I really need to be overseas at this time of the year.
"It was just getting harder and harder.''
While disappointed to see Ross stand aside, long-time Ipswich supporter Wilson feels he is ready to progress from assistant coach to the top job.
"The framework is there and it's up to myself and the team to be able to follow on those footsteps he's laid,'' Wilson said.
"I got to learn a lot from Rossie so hopefully I can be able to put my own twist on that now.''
Preparing for the Knights' home match against Lions on Sunday night, Wilson said his goal was keeping the team positive after two recent losses.
"My focus will now be on preparing the boys and continuing on the solid pre-season form that we had,'' he said.
"I'm very confident that we have got the right squad there, the right support staff as well. I'm looking forward to the challenge of getting stuck in and putting our best foot forward.''
During his short stint at the Knights, former A-League goalkeeper Ross introduced some key changes Wilson hopes to build on.
"Although I'm leaving early unfortunately, I feel like I'm leaving them where we have at least accomplished a fair bit and put things in place,'' Ross said.
Asked if he would consider future coaching roles, Ross was cautious.
"It might be my time to hang up my whistle as they say because it's all getting a bit hard,'' Ross said.
The former Knights head coach also wants to spend some time watching his 18-year-old son Tomas play BPL for Rochedale.
"I miss his games and everything and I'd like to sit back and follow his career now as well,'' the proud dad said.
Wilson wished Ross well.
"He's a busy man with his business and whatnot and just wasn't able to give it the time,'' Wilson said.
While not expecting the decision so soon, respected Ipswich footballer Wilson understood.
"I'm aware how busy his business is and it's such a growing business as well,'' he said. "There was always someone wanting or chasing him for something.
"When he was there, he was able to instil a lot of professionalism and a lot of ethics of what's required to be able to be a successful club.
"We can definitely build on that. The foundation is there for us now and we'll continue on with the job.''
Knights club president Troy Beahan also thanked Ross for the time and effort he put into the club before announcing his decision.