Brighton aim for top-four WSL finish after recruiting Dario Vidosic as head coach

  • Vidosic will take the helm until 2027
  • The 30-year-old joins fresh from league victory with Melbourne City
  • Brighton were criticised for the sacking of Melissa Phillips in February
Dario Vidosic will lead Brighton until 2027
Dario Vidosic will lead Brighton until 2027 / Mackenzie Sweetnam/GettyImages

Brighton & Hove Albion are hoping new head coach Dario Vidosic will help them secure a top-four spot next season in the Barclays Women's Super League.

The Australia international, who will remain at the club until 2027, will arrive to the south coast fresh from title victory after leading A-League club Melbourne City to success last season.

Vidosic will be replacing Melissa Phillips, who was the subject of a controversial sacking after just ten months at the Seagulls in February. 

It was reported that Phillips took part in a press conference at 2:30pm and was then later dismissed at 6:45pm on the same day. The club’s technical director blamed her axing on investment not aligning with results. 

The news was met with some backlash, considering she’d helped the club avoid relegation, and at the time they were in the quarter-finals of the League Cup and fifth round of the FA Cup. 

Melissa Phillips
Melissa Phillips was the subject of a controversial sacking by the club earlier this year / Mike Hewitt/GettyImages

Brighton’s managing director of women’s and girl’s football said Vidosic caught their eye after being a “young coach with a progressive outlook”.

She explained: "He has a playing style and philosophy that aligns with how we want Brighton & Hove Albion teams to play. We are really excited to start working with Dario to prepare for the upcoming Women’s Super League season."

Technical director David Weir added that he believes Vidosic "will help us take a significant step towards our vision of being a top four WSL club".

Vidosic has both coaching and playing experience, after having spells in Australia with Brisbane Roar, Melbourne City and Adelaide United, as well as stints in Germany and New Zealand. The 37-year-old also represented his country 23 times between 2009 and 2014.

In the same announcement, Brighton also confirmed Chris Roberts would be joining as Vidosic's assistant head coach. He comes from Everton after being at the club since 2018 in the same role, before leaving at the end of last season. 

The Seagulls have had a busy summer transfer window so far, after bagging WSL legend Fran Kirby, following her exit from Chelsea. They've also signed defenders Marisa Olislagers and Marit Auee from FC Twente and striker Kiko Seike from WE league side Urawa Reds. 

It's clear the club is investing in high-profile and emerging talent in a bid to improve upon their final placing in the WSL last season.