SYDNEY (AP) — Former Crystal Palace assistant Tony Popovic has been named head coach of the new western Sydney team in Australian football's A-League.
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 prepared."
The new club also named Lyall Gorman as its inaugural executive chairman, meaning he will step down from his role as A-League chief executive.
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 FC.
The 38-year-old former center back played 61 internationals for Australia, retiring soon after the 2006 World Cup.