June 22, 2024
  • June 22, 2024
York United Martin Nash

Why Did York United Fire Martin Nash?

By on May 23, 2024 0 1336 Views

This week saw York United fire head coach Martin Nash just one-fifth of the way through the season, wasting little time to rejig a key cog that ownership felt simply had a misalignment of perspective on the pitch.

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With Mauro Eustaquio poised to take over in a short-term interim basis, Club President and General Manager Ricardo Pasquel spoke to the media to explain club brass felt Nash wasn’t a good fit, and what they’re looking for in a successor that will be signed in a matter of weeks.

York United Martin Nash
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Different Perspectives

First things first: Ricardo Pasquel was quick to answer why club brass didn’t believe Martin Nash was the right man for the job. He clarified that the former employee was exactly what club ownership wanted off the field, but there were irreconcilable differences as to how Nash viewed the team’s philosophy on the pitch that led to his departure.

“It’s not a matter of him being right or not, or vice versa,” says Ricardo Pasquel. “It’s just a different perspective of seeing the game.”

While he respects Nash’s points of view, they simply didn’t see eye-to-eye on how to interpret the club’s style of play, the strengths and weakness of rostered athletes, or how they should analyze opposition. Those differences became more apparent as time wore on, prompting the Pasquels to go separate ways with Martin Nash just months after re-signing him.

York United Dennis Salanovic
Photo Credit: John Jacques

So, How Can We Expect York United To Play?

Clarifying exactly what the club brass wanted to see from Martin Nash’s successor, Ricardo Pasquel told Adam Jenkins that fans can expect to see a team that plays with the ball on the ground, moving it quickly and with purpose.

“We want to spark a smart team on the pitch, and that’s something that’s easy to say, but it’s very hard to implement,” admits Ricardo. Right now, the club is searching for a head coach who already has defined club philosophies under their belt that have produced an attractive brand of crowd-pleasing football.

“It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be a challenge. But with the current roster, we are 100% sure we can accomplish that,” adds Ricardo, who also adds that the new head coach will need to not only be a match in the above style of play, but must also have a skillset in developing players to not only maximize their strengths, but minimize their weaknesses too. No word on what he felt the current weaknesses were, however.

York UNited Mauro Eustaquio Camilo Benzi
Photo Credit: John Jacques

Mauro’s Interim Tenure Will Be Short

Canadian soccer is no stranger to interim roles running long: after all, Mauro Biello was an interim for the Canadian men’s national team for some 235 days. Mauro Eustaquio, by contrast, will step into York United’s interim head coach role for a stint that is only expected to last two games.

Ricardo hopes to have a new head coach announcement shortly after the Forge match on June 1, which is a little over a week away. Ricardo told Charlie O’Connor Clarke that they’re still working on some details, but hope to have the new gaffer in place early in the week after the 905 Derby.

“I think we’re now only narrowing it down to a couple of options, and we’re very happy with the announcement that we’re close to making,” he adds.

York UNited Molham Babouli
Photo Credit: John Jacques

No Drastic Personnel Changes

When the Pasquel Brothers purchased York United last December, Ricardo went on the record with his belief that his new team had the best roster in the league. That’s still the case, with the co-owner confirming there won’t be drastic changes to the club’s player roster when the next transfer window opens up or later on the long offseason.

“I think Nash and the previous administration did a good job at that,” he told David Parkes of the roster. “Right now we just have to maximize the potential, so I think the players know this – they know they have to give everything every day, and it’s our job to challenge them to make sure that we get the better out of them.”

Ricardo also stated there isn’t a lot of room for further change given the league’s current salary cap, though he did state that in general the owners would always look to continue improving the roster when the right opportunities arise.

“I think every GM’s job in the world, regardless of the sport, is to make sure the roster is always at its max potential,” he says, noting that he spoke to the club’s players about Martin’s sacking yesterday morning. Despite the rocky start to the season, he still believes the players in that locker room still comprise the best roster to be found in the league.

York United Martin Nash
Photo Credit: John Jacques

International Coach Is Possible

When asked directly by Neil Davidson as to whether the new head coach could be a fellow countryman of the Pasquels, he certainly didn’t rule it out: club ownership has already held discussions with coaches of Mexican nationality, along with domestic coaches and some candidates in the United States, too.

Right now there are still meetings occurring with ‘a couple’ of potential hires, though with expectations of an formal announcement in just over a week, it appears the shortlist has already been drastically whittled down, or was simply never that large.

“We knew that finding people with good knowledge of the game, and the way we want to play, it wasn’t gonna be that hard to find, honestly,” explains Ricardo. “We wanted to find somebody that has certain character that we’re looking for as a leader on the field, especially helping the young guys develop, having had very good success in that area, and that was more or less what we’re looking for.”

York United Brian Wright
Photo Credit: John Jacques

The Last Results Weren’t A Decisive Factor

There were some questions regarding the timing of the move, with Martin Nash having recently guided the club to a hard-earn point away to Cavalry and, before that, a thorough comeback victory over Valour FC.

“I can tell you it had nothing to do either with the last couple of games, either Cavalry, or the one we won,” reiterates Ricardo. “It was more or less about having daily conversations at the practice facility, in the office, how he sees the style of play, how he sees strengths and weaknesses for some players, how he analyzes rival the team – so it was just ongoing conversations that made us that made us do the decision. Again, I respect Nash’s point of views of seeing the field, of what he sees what he likes, it’s just a different perspective.”

In fact, Ricardo believes if they had made the decision based on one or two results, that would be a mistake – he doesn’t believe tough decisions like the one he made should be based on those alone.

York United Camilo Benzi
Photo Credit: John Jacques

The Rest Of The Coaching Staff Will Stay

Mauro Eustaquio’s tenure as an interim head coach is, by nature of the role’s name, quite finite. His status as a member of York United’s coaching staff is less so, however. Ricardo has confirmed that there are no further changes for the coaching staff, which means the incoming gaffer will retain Mauro Eustaquio as an assistant coach and Camilo Benzo as a goalkeeper coach, too.

“Right now, we are very, very happy with the coaching staff, specifically with Camilo and with Mauro leading us. They are people that we want to grow within the future of this organization and hopefully have them for much more years to come. So, the new coach is going to be arriving right now just by himself.”

While unspoken at the conference, it’s also worth noting that both of these coaches are fluent in Spanish, which could certainly help a Spanish-speaking coach acclimate into the league.

Eustaquio joined the club in February 2022 following the hiring of Martin Nash, while Camilo Benzi is a day one coach who has served under Jim Brennan, Martin Nash, and whoever is set to come in next.


Mauro Eustaquio will address the media as head coach for the first time this afternoon. They’ll face hungry opponents tomorrow with Halifax coming to town: with only one point on the board, Patrice Gheisar’s side will be chomping at the bit to prove their third-place finish last season was no fluke.

With a fairly small landing strip of time before Ricardo Pasquel’s self-imposed due date for a head coach hire comes beckoning, it’ll be interesting to see who will take the mantle as York United’s third head coach.

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