Glory unveil Popovic as new A-League coach

Perth have made an enormous statement of A-League intent, signing Asian Champions League winner Tony Popovic as coach for three seasons.
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The former Socceroo and Western Sydney foundation coach was considered likely to head to Asia after an ill-fated stint this year in European football.

Instead, he’s headed west and will begin an overhaul of the Glory after four years under previous coach Kenny Lowe.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of tapping into the vast potential that the club has,” Popovic said on Friday.

“I’m also looking forward to continuing to work with the great young talent that exists in WA … it’ll be great to have the opportunity to work with such talented young players.”

Popovic has been out of a job since a 10-week run as boss of Turkish side Karabukspor ended in December.

The 44-year-old quit his post at Western Sydney, who he had coached since their inception, on the eve of last season to take up the opportunity.

Reports suggest Tony Pignata will also join the club, replacing departed chief executive Peter Filopoulos.

Chairman Tony Sage was understandably delighted to announce Popovic as their new coach.

“Tony was our number one target from day one and we beat off some stiff competition in order to bring him here,” he said.

“His resume, reputation and pedigree are hugely impressive, as is his vision for the future of Perth Glory.

“This appointment marks one of the most-exciting moments in Glory’s illustrious history and one that I know will have our supporters counting down the days until the start of the 2018-19 season.”

Popovic’s arrival represents a new era for a club who have underachieved for many years.

The Glory were one of the powerhouse sides of the National Soccer League but haven’t won any silverware since the competition was shuttered in 2004.

They have made just one A-League grand final and, while they reached the finals twice during Lowe’s reign, the West n club has long struggled for consistency.

Popovic’s arrival will change expectations in the west, with the Glory to be considered one of the frontrunners for next year’s championship.

Chief among his immediate tasks will be recruitment, with primary goalscorer Adam Taggart leaving this month for Brisbane and several other players out of contract.

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