Left Menu
Development News Edition

Tony Popovic eyes for maiden A-League title with victory over Sydney FC

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 17-05-2019 19:37 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 13:25 IST
Tony Popovic eyes for maiden A-League title with victory over Sydney FC
The former Australia defender led Western Sydney Wanderers to the decider three times in their first four seasons but was defeated in all of them, the last time a 3-1 reverse against Adelaide United in 2016.

Tony Popovic will seek to shrug off a heartbreaking record of failure in the Australian championship decider and guide Perth Glory to their maiden A-League title with victory over Sydney FC in the Grand Final in Perth on Sunday.

The former Australia defender led Western Sydney Wanderers to the decider three times in their first four seasons but was defeated in all of them, the last time a 3-1 reverse against Adelaide United in 2016. After a brief, ill-fated coaching stint in Turkish football, Popovic returned to the A-League last year and has transformed the Glory in his first year in charge.

Having missed the playoffs last year under sacked former boss Kenny Lowe, the Glory claimed the Premier's Plate last month as the top team in the regular season That was the club's first silverware since the A-League was re-born out of the ashes of the National Soccer League -- a competition they won in its last two seasons.

Their turnaround has been built on a foundation of smart recruiting, with a host of internationals following the highly regarded Popovic to Australia's most remote major city. Socceroos Matthew Spiranovic, Jason Davidson and Chris Ikonomidis were among the fresh blood, and the latter two players made the Professional Footballers Australia team of the year.

It could have all been very different, however, as the Glory all but squandered their place in Sunday's decider during a nerve-jangling semi-final win over at Adelaide United last week. They have colourful goalkeeper Liam Reddy to thank for rescuing them with four saves after they gave up a 2-0 lead in a match that went to a penalty shootout.

The veteran, who was once punished for getting drunk on a flight to an A-League playoff, has had a tense relationship with previous coaches but said Popovic had been the ultimate player-manager. "He is the most professional coach I've had in terms of how he wants things done and what he expects of himself and his staff, but also his players," the 37-year-old told local media this week.

Popovic will match wits against an old friend in the Sky Blues boss Steve Corica, who has also had a stellar season in his first season as head coach. The two were teammates at Sydney and also in Japan during their playing days.

"Come Sunday the competitiveness will come out, but I'm delighted for him, and I know he is for me," Popovic said. In contrast to the Glory, three-times champion Sydney stormed into the Grand Final for the third time in five years with a 6-1 humiliation of champions Melbourne Victory.

They will bid to match the Victory's record of four titles, having raised the A-League's distinctive championship trophy -- dubbed the "toilet seat" for its unusual design -- in 2006, 2010 and 2017. Beating the Glory after a long flight to Perth will be tough but Sydney has the pedigree. "They've been there before, they've got the experience, it's going to be no different," said Corica.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Dissecting how COVID-19 is catalyzing the trajectory of New World Order

The ensuing pandemic of COVID-19 has hit the globalization in two ways firstly, shrinking the importance of globalization as an economic force by curtailing mobility through worldwide lockdowns, and secondly, rejuvenating the idea of indig...

Videos

Latest News

Malaysia's ruling party dumps Mahathir, dissenters

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassins ruling party on Thursday terminated the membership of his predecessor Mahathir Mohamad, a move widely seen as an attmept to consolidate power as he faces a possible challenge to his nascent premier...

Lt governor administers oath to B R Sharma as Chairman JKPSC

Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu on Thursday administered the oath to retired bureaucrat B R Sharma as Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Public Service Commission JKPSC at Raj Bhavan here, an official spokesman said. A 1984-batch IAS re...

UP, Bihar destinations for around 80 pc migrant workers, Centre informs SC

Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the destinations for around 80 per cent of the migrant workers stranded across India following the COVID-19 lockdown, the Centre apprised the Supreme Court on Thursday even as the two states listed steps being ta...

It's important to get clear idea about source of coronavirus: Chinese Premier

As China battled to deflect the criticism over the origin of the novel coronavirus from Wuhan, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday that it was important to get a clear idea of the source of the deadly virus as he backed efforts to f...

Give Feedback