Tony Popovic named coach of new A-League team

Former Crystal Palace assistant Tony Popovic has been named head

coach of the new western Sydney team in Australian football’s


Football Federation Australia said Thursday that Popovic signed

a four-year deal to lead the side when it enters the 10-team

competition in the 2012-13 season.

Popovic has had assistant coaching roles with Sydney FC and the

League Championship’s Crystal Palace, where he was released from

his contract a year early this week.

”Certainly it’s a great challenge, but one that I can handle,”

Popovic said. ”We are short of time but we’re confident we’ll get

a good team, a competitive team from the outset and one that’s well


The new club also named Lyall Gorman as its inaugural executive

chairman, meaning he will step down from his role as A-League chief


Popovic and Gorman have set a goal of having a squad of players

to begin training on June 25. Recruitment will start immediately

with the new season beginning in October.

Sydney-born Popovic started his playing career with Sydney

United before spells with Japan’s Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Crystal

Palace, where he was a former captain, Qatar’s Al Arabi and Sydney


The 38-year-old former center back played 61 internationals for

Australia, retiring soon after the 2006 World Cup.