Popovic head coach for new Sydney club

Former Qantas Socceroos defender Tony Popovic has been appointed as the inaugural head coach of the new Sydney club representing western Sydney in the Hyundai A-League.

Former Qantas Socceroos defender Tony Popovic has been appointed as the inaugural head coach of the new Sydney club representing western Sydney in the Hyundai A-League.

Popovic has resigned as a coach of English Championship club Crystal Palace to accept this appointment. He was previously an assistant coach of Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League.

Popovic made 61 appearances and scored nine goals for the Qantas Socceroos, including the 2006 FIFA World Cup and played over 400 club matches in an illustrious playing career in Australia, Japan, UK and Qatar.

The executive chairman of the new Sydney club, Lyall Gorman, said Popovic was the natural choice for the role.

“Everyone in the game knows and respects Tony-s leadership qualities as a player in the Socceroos and in 400 games of club football,” Gorman said.

“There-s no doubt Tony will bring those qualities to the new club. He has the coaching skills and the character to be successful in the A-League and his heritage in western Sydney makes him a fine ambassador for the region.

“I-m delighted to have a man of the stature of Tony Popovic as one of the pioneers of the new club in western Sydney.”

Popovic welcomed the challenge of establishing a new club in the heartland of Australian football.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to coach the new club in western Sydney and I-m really excited about the mission ahead of us,” Popovic said.

“I grew up in west Sydney and learned my football there, but it-s the challenge of a start up club in football-s heartland that has brought me home.

“I know the region has a great passion for the game, fantastic junior ranks and thousands of life-long fans. These are ingredients that can help make our club a success.”

TONY POPOVIC - CAREER Born: 4 July 1973, Sydney Main playing position: defender Qantas Socceroo honours: 61 appearances (9 goals) from 1994 to 2006, including 2006 FIFA World Cup

Other Australian representative honours: U-17 - 1989 U-17 World Cup (Scotland) U-20 - 1991 U-20 World Cup campaign qualifiers U-23 - 1992 Olympic Games (Barcelona)

Club playing career: 1989-1997 Sydney United (Australia) 162 appearances (15 goals) 1997-2001 Sanfrecce Hiroshima (Japan) 87 appearances (12 goals) 2001-2006 Crystal Palace (England) 123 appearances (6 goals) 2006 Al Arabi (Qatar) 17 appearances (2 goals) 2007-2008 Sydney FC (Australia) 27 appearances (1 goal) Total national league: 416 appearances (36 goals)

Coaching career: 2008-2011 Sydney FC (Australia) assistant 2011-2012 Crystal Palace (England) assistant 2012- New Sydney Club (Australia)