December 7, 2023

Munster leaves Vanuatu

In a shock move, Vanuatu head coach Paul Munster has left the national team for a club in Indonesia.

In a shock move, Vanuatu head coach Paul Munster has left the national team for a club in Indonesia.

Paul Munster Brian Kaltack
Vanuatu Head Coach Paul Munster, chatting to captain Brian Kaltack at the Pacific Games. (Photo credit: Richard Ewart)

The Northern Irish coach joins Bhayangkara in the Indonesian top-flight.

The team is currently sitting 10th in the 18 team league. They finished third last season, after winning the title in 2017.

Munster only took charge of Vanuatu in February and leaves after a disappointing Pacific Games where Vanuatu failed to get out of the group stage.

He also coached the young Vanuatu team that ended fifth out of six teams in the Youth Development Tournament.

The Indonesian team, Bhayangkara, has unveiled Munster as a coach although his contract with the Vanuatu Football Federation runs until August 30th.

Although it was never revealed how long Munster’s contract with the VFF was, he had seemed keen to stay on for a while, floating ideas like having the national U20 team play in the league.

“It should have come Monday or Tuesday, but it turns out that his contract with the Vanuatu national team only ended on Friday (30th August, ed.),” Bhayangkara manager Sumardji told Indonesian news outlet Suara about Munster joining the team.

According to Suara, Munster is already in the country, having arrived on Monday.

No word has yet come out of the VFF camp.

They will now need to get a new head coach for the U23 team that is set to go into camp for the Olympic qualifiers in Fiji as Munster was heading that operation.

His departure is therefore far from ideal for the VFF.

So far Football in Oceania has not been able to reach Munster for a comment.

UPDATE: According to Radio Australia reporter Richard Ewart, the Vanuatu U23 team will be coached by Etienne Mermer, Munster’s assistant, and the man who coached Vanuatu to gold in the Pacific Mini Games in 2017.

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