A-LEAGUE bosses hope to formally unveil Tony Popovic as the new coach of the west Sydney A-League as early as today, with Football Federation Australia desperate to start targeting players to get the new team up and running.
After Popovic gave his in-principle acceptance of the challenge of starting a team from scratch, the only impediment remains getting formal release from Crystal Palace where he has been assistant coach for the past 15 months.
Widely regarded in the game as deeply loyal, Popovic had said he would only make the switch with Palace's blessing, which appeared to be granted by co-chairman Steve Parish.
Read the full article at The Daily Telegraph.
Opinion: This report has clarified several issues regarding the appointment. There has been wide derision from certain sectors about Popovic being given a 5 year deal. A 4 year deal with early termination clauses is a far safer option. It will mean neither the FFA or Popovic himself will feel overly pressured in the event the club is slow to achieve success. The FFA will not be under the pump for a huge payout in the event he performs so badly that an early termination is required.
4 years is enough to enable Popovic to build his own culture, but at the same time the termination clauses give the FFA and any potential new club owners options in the event they feel the team culture is not developing in the way they hope.
Ante Milicic seems less likely to sign with the club, but having been passed over by Melbourne Heart I hope his connection with West Sydney and it's football heritage will induce him to make the switch.
The "West Sydney Pride" debacle proved one thing, that there is an astonishing amount of passion and true pride in what this team is and what it will stand for. We have pride in our heart, we don't need to have it in the name. While this appears to be a journalistic mistake by The World Game, it must have shown the FFA they cannot abandon their core promise to listen to the supporters.