Brisbane Roar Director of Football Ken Stead has decided not to pursue a contract extension option and will leave the club next month.
After nearly six years with the Roar, Stead will step down after the club’s game against Spanish La Liga side Villarreal at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, 3 June.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to look elsewhere for a new challenge and a new opportunity,” Stead said.
“I know this is the correct decision for me and one that I am at ease with.”
Brisbane Roar FC chairman Chris Fong praised Stead for the work he had done at the club, initially as an assistant coach and as the club’s Director of Football since September 2013.
“In addition to being the leader of our football program, Kenny was instrumental in laying the foundations of the Roar’s much-admired youth development program,” Fong said.
“The pathways to success he has cemented in place were evident in the number of young players who came into the Roar first-team squad this season.
“Thanks to that good work, I am sure his legacy at the club will be seen on the playing field for many years to come.
“On behalf of everyone at Brisbane Roar Football Club, we wish him well in the next stage of his football career.”
In announcing his decision, Stead paid tribute to the Roar players and this season’s interim Head Coach Frans Thijssen.
“I want to thank Frans and the players for the way they have lifted the club since he arrived in November,” Stead said.
Stead also paid recognition to the “massive part that Jeff Hopkins has played, and in more recent times John Sime” in the Roar coaching and development program.
During his time at the club, the Roar won two Premier Plates, three Championships, was the first club to post 100 wins in the Hyundai A-League and set a record 36 games unbeaten.
“It is with great pride that I look back at the part that I played, along with many other coaches and support staff, in achieving these feats,” Stead said.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the help and assistance that I personally have received from many people over the course of my time with the club.
“This has been one of my happiest times in football. I have nothing but love for the club, the people who work here and the fantastic supporters who come to all of our games.
“I will miss the atmosphere of the Den and talking to the supporters who bleed orange. I wish Brisbane Roar Football Club and all its employees the greatest of success in the future.”