Wanderers reward Popovic with three more years

Western Sydney Wanderers have fought off interest from numerous clubs to re-sign coach Tony Popovic on a three-year deal.

Popovic, 41, had previously been linked to Premier League outfit Crystal Palace, Croatian side Hajduk Split and multiple Asian clubs. 

But the former Socceroo will now remain in Parramatta for the foreseeable future after committing to the Wanderers until 2018. 

The A-League club and 2014 AFC Champions League winners announced the deal at a media conference on Friday.

The Wanderers' 2014-15 campaign was disappointing, finishing second-last in the A-League and falling just short of progressing to the group stages of the Champions League. 

But overall his first full-time coaching job has been a successful one, leading the Wanderers to an A-League premiership and last year's Asian club crown. 

Western Sydney also reached successive domestic grand finals in their first two seasons, losing to the Central Coast Mariners in 2013 and Brisbane Roar last year. 

“This Club is built for success, our region demands it and our fans deserve it,” said Wanderers Chairman Paul Lederer.

“Tony Popovic has already brought this club a great deal of success, but we want more, a lot more. He makes no secret of his demands on his team and his incredibly hardworking football staff but these are no more than the demands he makes on himself.

“Make no mistake. Tony Popovic is the only man for the job, he is an ideal fit for our culture and suits the ambitious plans we have for this Club. Securing Tony is a huge step in the right direction to bringing more success and greater pride to the Wanderers and to Western Sydney.”

Having assembled the inaugural Wanderers squad with Popovic from a kitchen table in his Western Sydney home, Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas early on knew that something special was beginning.

“From my first conversation with Tony I knew that the Wanderers had found something special,” said Tsatsimas.

“Tony is steadfast, determined, meticulous in detail and an intelligent coach whose entire focus is on the success of this football club.

“He is across every element of the club and has a passion for this team that anyone who knows him well realises is going to generate more success for the Wanderers in the coming three years.”

The current AFC Coach of the Year praised his players, support staff and the Club for their achievements but promised more to come.

“I am immensely proud of the achievements of this team at our Club to date but have no interest in resting with past glories,” Popovic said.

“Work for next season has already begun and our aim is to get back to the top where we belong.

“This season we had some adversity and that can destroy you or make you stronger - everyone will see a stronger Wanderers next season.”

With a full off-season to recruit and prepare for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season the future looks bright for the Wanderers to continue on their course to becoming a globally recognised and respected football club – the pride of Western Sydney.