top of page
  • Writer's pictureIan Pulczynski

The Tassie-born manager in Wales preparing for the game of his life

With Ange Postecoglou getting most of the attention at Celtic, another Australian manager based in the UK is exceeding expectations on the European stage.

Meet Anthony Limbrick, the Tasmania-born manager aiming to take Welsh side The New Saints to the UEFA Conference League group stage.

Last week The New Saints achieved one of the most significant victories in Welsh club football history, defeating Czech giants Viktoria Plzeň 4-2 in Cardiff.

Tomorrow morning, despite having a two-goal advantage, Limbrick's side face a mammoth task to go through to the next stage.

"We've done a lot of research on Viktoria Plzeň; we know we'll face pressure early on in the game," said Limbrick in the pre-game press conference.

"We know that their pressure is coming, but if we can get the balance right between defending and knowing when to go forward, that will be the key to going through in the tie tomorrow night."

Born and raised in Tasmania, Limbrick moved to the UK at an early age to pursue a career as a footballer.

However, after multiple rejections and a broken leg, he decided to shift from playing to managing.

"I decided to retire after I had a leg break," said Limbrick on TNS TV on Youtube.

"I still could have probably come back and play, but (the injury) made me realise that I wasn't going to become a professional footballer, so I decided to switch dreams and become a coach."

After starting with U5s and college schemes across England, a 23-year-old Limbrick was appointed first-team coach for non-league side Wingate & Finchley FC.

Limbrick continued to develop his credentials, obtaining the UEFA A and B licenses whilst coaching on the sidelines.

In 2010, Limbrick joined Southampton - who was then playing their football in League One - as the U14s coach.

"It was a really good learning curve to work with top coaches, good academy people, and benchmark my understanding to see what good players look like," he said.

"It was an inclusive environment between the Southampton first team and the links with the academy.

"I learned a lot from Ronald Koeman, Mauricio Pochettino, and Nigel Atkins, the three managers were excellent from a personal point of view, and I took a lot of information from them."

Anthony Limbrick during his time at Southampton. Source: Southampton FC

Limbrick praised the work ethic of Pochettino as the best he has ever seen.

"The tempo and intensity the team trained at was something I had never seen before in my life. It was unbelievable," said Limbrick on Talksport UK.

The main premise for me is working harder in training than you do in the game. It’s about a lot of pressing, work rate, and winning the ball back. Mauricio’s advice was invaluable."

After his time at Southampton, Limbrick had a brief spell at West Ham United's academy team before having the opportunity in 2017 to coach professional side Woking FC in League Two.

However, the club terminated Limbrick's contract after he won just three of his 26 matches.

In 2018, Limbrick joined League Two side Grimsby Town as an assistant coach, working alongside Ian Holloway, before departing in September 2020.

Limbrick was appointed manager of The New Saints on the 2nd of April 2021.

"The New Saints have great football traditions that are based on winning, and I am going to work hard to make that happen consistently at the football club," said Limbrick in a club statement.

"I've been really impressed; the league is improving all the time, the teams are getting better.

"It has been such a welcoming place; there's a real desire to keep improving; the ambitions of this club have impressed me the most."

Limbrick's results in the UEFA Conference League qualifiers have been phenomenal, including a 10-1 aggregate win over Lithuanians Kauno Žalgiris.

Limbrick now faces the biggest game of his managerial career as Viktoria Plzeň host The New Saints tomorrow morning (3am AEDT).


bottom of page