TWO sidekicks exited their clubs today as Mark Jones was axed after a disagreement over coaching style with Newcastle Jets boss Branko Culina while Kenny Lowe left Perth Glory.
The Jets paid tribute to Jones, who helped the side to their Championship win alongside Gary van Egmond but admitted the clash of styles had forced Jones's departure.
“Mark is clearly a committed, passionate and talented Coach whom we regard very highly,” said Executive Chairman Ken Edwards today.
“However it is clear there was a difference in the coaching philosophy of Mark and Branko and that is why we have jointly taken the decision to head in another direction.
“This decision is certainly no reflection on Mark’s technical nor coaching abilities.”
Jones couldn't hide his disappointment at his exit.
“I am sad that I won’t be a part of the Jets going forward, but I understand the reasons for us all to be moving forward and this is the best solution for all involved,” he said.
“I wish the club well and who knows what’s down the road for us.”
The club Jets National Youth League coach Craig Deans will be Culina's senior squad assistant until a full-time replacement for Jones is found.
Edwards added: “We are pleased Craig has elected to remain with the club, he is a real up and comer in the coaching ranks and we look forward to a long involvement with him at the Jets.”
Meanwhile Perth Glory confirmed that long-time assistant coach Kenny Lowe had resigned.
Lowe's resignation comes just seven days after former coach Dave Mitchell stepped aside to take up a football director's role at the club, leaving Ian Ferguson in charge as the Glory's interim manager.
"I've had a great time with Perth Glory and really appreciate Dave Mitchell and (owner) Tony Sage bringing me to the club and giving me a chance at the top level," said Lowe in a release.
"I feel it's the right decision and I hope Ian Ferguson and Perth Glory have a really successful season."
Lowe's departure is another blow to the Glory as the team looks to arrest a five-game losing streak when they play Sydney FC on Sunday at nib Stadium.
Goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski said Lowe's decision had been another shock to the players.
"It's obviously a sad day to lose him," Vrteski said on Tuesday morning before training. "Kenny's been one of the greats of the team.
"He's always offering help to the younger players, he's got that link about him, he looks after the young boys and he offers a lot of assistance to the older players and his knowledge of the game is second to none.
"(There's) disappointment from everyone."
Vrteski added: "You've known the guy pretty well and he gives everything to the players, so it's naturally disappointing to lose someone like Kenny, but as they say, the show must go on."
Lowe, 48, has previously managed Gateshead and Barrow in the UK before joining Glory during a similarly tumultuous 2007-08 season, when coach Ron Smith was sacked and replaced by Mitchell.
In Tuesday's training, veteran defender and last season's Most Glorious Player winner Andy Todd was absent for the first part of the session and Ferguson will be hoping he's fit to play on Sunday against a Sydney team which will be desperate to notch its first win of the season.