FORMER Southern Stars coach Dean Hennessy is hoping to lead another Victorian Premier League club next year after leaving the Stars.
The Hennessy-coached Stars went from division 2 in 2010 to playing in the VPL this year and, despite financial troubles, managed to keep their place in the top flight.
After talking with Stars officials in the past few weeks, Hennessy has decided to call time on his tenure with the club as the player budget would be severely cut in 2013.
"It's been well-documented that the club has had its issues," Hennessy said.
"When I was told the budget we could work to next year, I felt it would be no-where near what we needed to be competitive.
"But while this journey for me and the team comes to an end, there will be a new coach and a new committee and they will go on their own new journey."
Hennessy was full of kind words for the Stars and his players, who continued to play hard in the second half of the season despite finding out halfway through the season that the club would not be able to keep to "all the financial deals agreed to at the start of the season".
"Apart from losing one or two players who needed to move because of their own situations, everyone stayed together," Hennessy said.
"It's showed great character. We had a conversation about the club on the Thursday and then beat Dandenong Thunder on the Saturday.
"In the second half of the season I thought we did really well to stay in the VPL."
Hennessy also revealed club officials had assured his players they would eventually receive any outstanding payments.
"The club has been really good. That's one thing I love about them and they will always have my respect.
"Anything that is owed will be paid in full. That will take some time.
"Tony, [Kiranci] The former president has worked very, very hard to make sure that is achieved."
With only a few openings likely to become available in the VPL, Hennessy said he would also look at rising clubs in State League 1 but he still hopes a VPL job may come his way.
"I'm not leaving the Stars because I have another job.
"I've been in the VPL for 30 years — since coming to play as a 17 year old — and after this season I believe I know what's required to be successful in this league.
"The VPL isn't an easy league to get into, but I think what the club has achieved shows other division 1 and 2 sides that it's possible to get there with lots of hard work from everyone at a club."