Popovic departs to take up overseas opportunity
Perth Glory can confirm that Head Coach Tony Popovic has departed the club with immediate effect to take up an opportunity overseas.
The 47-year-old former Socceroo joined Glory in 2018 and guided the club to its maiden Hyundai A-League Premiership and second Grand Final in his debut season at the helm.
In his parting comments, Popovic confirmed his belief that Glory is well placed to build upon the success achieved over the past two seasons.
“I’d just like to thank the players, staff, members and fans and everyone involved with the club, as well as the owner, Tony Sage, for giving me the opportunity,” he said.
“I had a wonderful two years, winning the Premiers’ Plate being a fantastic highlight, along with playing in front of a sell-out crowd at Optus Stadium in the Grand Final and being a part of the club’s first foray into the AFC Champions League.
“Then in our second season, coming through a difficult COVID situation and being one game away from another Grand Final.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Perth, working with great people and living in the city.
“An opportunity has now come for me to pursue in Europe, but I’m very thankful to everyone for making my time in Perth so enjoyable.
“I wish the club all the very best and it is definitely in good hands.
“There are wonderful players in the squad and it’s been a great pleasure to watch them perform and grow both as players and as young men during my time there.
“The template has been set for Glory being a consistently successful club having challenged for honours in two consecutive seasons and I’m sure the players and staff can now build on that and maintain that consistency in years to come.”
Glory Chief Executive Officer Tony Pignata acknowledged the contribution made by Popovic and stated that he leaves with the club’s best wishes.
“On behalf of everyone associated with Perth Glory, I would like to thank Tony for his efforts over the past two seasons,” he said.
“He has made a lasting and significant impact and we wish him all the very best in his future coaching endeavours.
“The club will now initiate a thorough and wide-ranging process to identify and appoint his successor as the club’s new Head Coach.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Glory Football Director, Jacob Burns.
“At a personal level, I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every day working alongside Tony,” he said, “and wish him the very best of luck in his next role.
“A legacy of players and coaches being successful is that they attract interest from elsewhere, but the template and structures that Tony has helped to develop will remain in place and stand the club in good stead as we continue our bid for sustained success.”
The club will not be issuing any further comment at this time.