Tony Popovic

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Tony Popovic
Tony Popovic Managing Western Sydney Wanderers Training.png
Personal information
Full name Anthony Popovic
Date of birth (1973-07-04) 4 July 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Centre Back
Club information
Current team
Western Sydney Wanderers (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1997 Sydney United 162 (14)
1994 Canberra FC (loan) 5 (1)
1997–2001 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 87 (13)
2001–2006 Crystal Palace 123 (6)
2006–2007 Al-Arabi 17 (2)
2007–2008 Sydney FC 27 (1)
Total 421 (37)
National team
1988–1989 Australia U-17 7 (2)
1990–1991 Australia U-20 9 (1)
1992 Australia U-23 4 (0)
1995–2006 Australia 58 (8)
Teams managed
2008–2011 Sydney FC (assistant)
2009 Sydney FC (caretaker)
2011–2012 Crystal Palace (assistant)
2012– Western Sydney Wanderers
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Anthony "Tony" Popovic (Serbian Cyrillic: Тони Поповић, Croatian: Tony Popović, pronounced [pǒpoʋit͡ɕ]; born 4 July 1973 in Sydney, Australia) is an Australian former football (soccer) player and head coach of Western Sydney Wanderers.

Club career[edit]

Popovic playing for Sydney FC in 2008
Popovic playing for Sydney FC in 2008

Early career[edit]

Popovic was born in Sydney, New South Wales to a Serbian-Croatian family.[1] Popovic grew up in Fairfield, New South Wales.[2] Popovic began his career with Sydney United. He rose through the youth ranks, making 162 appearances in seven years for the first team, before moving to play in the J-League. Popovic signed with Sanfrecce Hiroshima where he stayed for five years scoring 13 goals in 94 appearances.

Crystal Palace FC[edit]

Tony Popovic signed for Crystal Palace on a free transfer in August 2001 from Sanfrecce Hiroshima. He became an integral part of the Palace defence, eventually becoming club captain. He played more than 120 matches for Crystal Palace. In his last season he played for Crystal Palace in 21 Premier League matches. In total he made more than 120 appearances for the club.[3]

Popovic's contract with Palace expired at the end of June 2006, and he decided against accepting the club's offer of a new contract. He instead moved to Qatar club, Al-Arabi.

Sydney FC[edit]

In 2007, with the growth of the A-League and slight homesickness, Popovic moved to Sydney FC, signing a two-year deal, with coach Branko Čulina also announcing him the club's captain.[4] Popovic scored his first goal on 28 October 2007 from a corner to beat the Mariners 3–2 in front of his home crowd of 17,850.

Popovic announced his retirement on 11 November 2008 after nearly 20 years as a professional footballer.[5]

International career[edit]

Popovic competed at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona for the Australian U-23 team. He began his full international career in 1995 with the Australian national team. Over the next eleven years Popovic made 58 appearances for the Socceroos, scoring 8 goals.

The highlight of Popovic's career came in 2006 when the Australian national team qualified for the FIFA World Cup under the management of Guus Hiddink. He took part in both legs in the qualifying match against Uruguay. Being replaced in the first half of the second leg due to injury by Harry Kewell. The tall defender was named in the competing squad and made his World Cup debut against Brazil on 18 June. He suffered a calf injury 40 minutes into the game and was replaced by Marco Bresciano for the second half.[5] His injury ruled him out of Australia's last match in the group stage, against Croatia, and their second round loss against eventual winners, Italy.

On 4 October 2006 Tony Popovic announced his retirement from the Socceroos.[6]

His final game was a friendly against Paraguay that month. He scored his eighth international goal, from a Mark Bresciano free kick, in his final minute on field to put Australia ahead, 1–0 in a game that finished 1–1.[5]

Coaching career[edit]

Popovic in 2010.

After retiring, Popovic moved into an Assistant Coach's role with Sydney FC,[7] where he remained until February 2011, when he returned to England and to Crystal Palace as first team coach,[8] after former team-mate Dougie Freedman was appointed manager.[9] In May 2012 Popovic left Palace to become the inaugural manager of A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers FC.[10] After the Wanderer's first season, Popovic was named A-League Coach of the Year for 2012/13.[11] He led Wanderer to 2014 AFC Champions League final for the first time by defeating FC Seoul. They defeated Al-Hilal at the final and won the tournament to become the first Australian team to win the AFC Champions League. As a result of this achievement, Popovic was named as the 2014 AFC Coach of the Year award.[12]

Statistics[edit]

[13]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Australia League Cup League Cup Total
1989/90 Sydney Croatia National Soccer League 13 0 13 0
1990/91 17 1 17 1
1991/92 20 1 20 1
1992/93 24 2 24 2
1993/94 Sydney United National Soccer League 27 2 27 2
1994/95 25 3 25 3
1995/96 29 4 29 4
1996/97 7 2 7 2
Japan League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Total
1997 Sanfrecce Hiroshima J. League 1 11 0 0 0 6 0 17 0
1998 25 4 3 1 2 1 30 6
1999 23 6 5 0 1 0 29 6
2000 21 3 2 0 3 2 26 5
2001 7 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Total
2001/02 Crystal Palace First Division 20 2 1 0 21 2
2002/03 36 4 3 0 40 4
2003/04 30 1 1 0 31 1
2004/05 Premier League 23 0 23 0
2005/06 League Championship 10 0 10 0
Qatar League Emir Cup Sheikh Jassem Cup Total
2006/07 Al-Arabi Stars League 17 2 17 2
Australia League Cup League Cup Total
2007/08 Sydney FC A-League 20 1 20 1
2008/09 7 0 7 0
Country Australia 189 16 189 16
Japan 87 13 10 1 12 3 109 17
England 119 7 5 0 119 7
Qatar 17 2 17 2
Total 412 38 15 1 12 3 439 42
Australia national team
Year Apps Goals
1995 8 0
1996 10 0
1997 2 0
1998 2 0
1999 0 0
2000 7 1
2001 10 5
2002 0 0
2003 2 1
2004 5 0
2005 8 0
2006 4 1
Total 58 8

International goals[edit]

Date Venue Opponent Result Result Competition Scored
19 June 2000 Papeete, Tahiti  Cook Islands 17–0 Won Oceania Nations Cup 1 (1)
9 April 2001 BCU International Stadium  Tonga 22–0 Won 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC) 1 (2)
11 April 2001 BCU International Stadium  American Samoa 31–0 Won 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC) 2 (4)
16 April 2001 BCU International Stadium  Samoa 11–0 Won 2002 FIFA World Cup qualification (OFC) 2 (6)
12 February 2003 Boleyn Ground, London  England 3–1 Won Friendly 1 (7)
7 September 2006 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane  Paraguay 1–1 Draw Friendly 1 (8)

Managerial statistics[edit]

As of 17 December 2014.
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Western Sydney Wanderers 17 May 2012 Present 82 38 18 26 46.34
Total 82 38 18 26 46.34

Honours[edit]

As a player[edit]

Australia

As a manager[edit]

Western Sydney Wanderers

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ I.Š (4 November 2014). "VIDEO: 'Infamous' Nishimura again shocked, but also helped the Croats". Gol.gr. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Halloran, Jessica (12 July 2007). "After 12 years, Poppa comes home to a whole new ball game". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Sydney welcomes back Milligan". Fox Sports. Australian Associated Press. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "Popovic to lead Sydney FC". ABC News. 2 August 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Hassett, Sebastian (11 November 2008). "Tony Popovic announces retirement". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "Socceroo defender Moore fails to arrive". Sydney Morning Herald. 4 October 2006. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  7. ^ "Popovic, Filan commit to Sydney". The World Game (Special Broadcasting Service). 23 March 2010. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Popovic To Quit Sydney For UK". Australian FourFourTwo. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  9. ^ Gentry, Nick (8 February 2011). "Popovic poised to start Palace role at Coventry". News Shopper. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Popovic head coach for new Sydney club". Football Federation Australia. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic named A-League Coach of the Year.". Adelaide Now. 15 April 2013. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  12. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/tony-popovic-nominated-for-2014-afc-coach-of-the-year-award-after-leading-wanderers-to-acl-glory/story-e6frf423-1227126036473
  13. ^ Tony Popovic at National-Football-Teams.com

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Australia Graham Arnold
Hyundai A-League Coach of the Year
2012–13
Succeeded by
England Mike Mulvey
Preceded by
Italy Marcello Lippi
AFC Champions League Winning Coach
2014
Succeeded by
Incumbent