Struggling Central Coast Mariners have sacked coach Phil Moss, effective immediately.
Newly appointed Technical Director, Tony Walmsley, will step in as interim head coach for the remainder of the 2014/15 campaign.
The club is understood to be advanced in the search for a permanent head coach.
Moss took over the reins at the Mariners mid last season but always struggled to fill the shoes of departed title-winning coach and now Sydney FC mentor, Graham Arnold.
The Gosford outfit finished the 2013/14 regular season in third but the current campaign has been tough for the two-time Premiers who currently sit in eighth spot on the A-League ladder, eight points of the playoffs.
The team lost its bid for a fifth AFC Champions League campaign, losing a qualifier 3-1 to Guangzhou R & F last month.
Walmsley, a former Mariners youth team coach, has also pointed to failures in recruitment of overseas players with Malick Mane, Kim Seung-yong and Richard Vernes brought in last year.
Mane’s loan was terminated in November, Kim departed in December and Vernes has made just eight A-League appearances.
In a brief statement the club said the move to sack Moss was part of the club's restructure.
"The Mariners are in negotiations with Moss in regards to his position and wish him all the best for his future endeavours in football," the statement read.
The club stated: "The decision is part of stage two of Executive Vice Chairman Peter Storrie’s restructure that will also see Hyundai A-League Assistant Coach Wayne O’Sullivan offered a new role at the club.
"Stepping into a player/coach role will be Central Coast Mariners club Captain, John Hutchinson who will take on the dual-position until the end the A-League 2014/15 campaign.
"The specifics of Hutchinson’s coaching contract are yet to be finalised but fans, media and members can be rest assured that the club captain will remain with the Mariners in a coaching capacity beyond this season.
"The next phase of the Central Coast Mariners restructure will also include a fresh look at the operation of youth football that will be made evident in the near future with further statements.
"The club respectfully declines to make any further comment regarding the Phil Moss matter and is sure that his career in football will continue elsewhere."comments