The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers have today parted ways with foundation head coach Tony Popovic.
Following five successful seasons at the Wanderers which included three Hyundai A-League Grand Final appearances, a Premiers Plate and the 2014 AFC Champions League Trophy, Popovic will depart the club to pursue an overseas opportunity in the next step of his coaching career.
Wanderers Chief Executive Officer John Tsatsimas said the legacy Tony Popovic will leave the club cannot be understated.
“Tony has been fundamental to this club’s success and growth since our inception in 2012 and leaves a lasting legacy that this club will use as a platform to continue our rapid growth,” said Tsatsimas.
“He will forever remain a great part of our history, leading us on our course to be globally recognised and respected as a football club.
“While we have always known Tony was destined to have a great future coaching on the global stage, just as he did as a player, we are sure he will look back fondly on his time with the Western Sydney Wanderers with pride in the achievements we have made as a group.”
The club will now expedite its search for a new coach with a number of candidates already identified and a thorough vetting process to take place.
“Our Members can be assured we will be taking the time to consider the right candidates for this role to ensure the work we have done leading into this season is not disrupted and the right manager is appointed to continue our journey in becoming the best sporting organisation in Australia,” continued Tsatsimas.
“We have a robust organisation that can handle anything thrown at us, on and off the field, led from the Board of Directors down to the club, so we will once again exhibit our resilience in the coming weeks.
“While we can’t hide the fact that the timing is not ideal, I can assure our members, our fans and the Australian football community that we will not take a step backwards in our pursuit of the title this season and we will be ready for Round 1 on Sunday.”
Tony Popovic said the five seasons he has spent with the Wanderers hold some of his fondest footballing memories.
“Today is a very difficult day to announce my departure from the Western Sydney Wanderers,” said Popovic.
“The timing is not great and you don’t plan these things. It has come up very recently and it is an opportunity to get my foot in the door in Europe.
“To see where the club has grown in five years, I leave with a lot of amazing memories. I’ve got the utmost respect for our Members and fans that have changed the landscape of Australian football.”