Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Sydney FC eye swift coaching appointment
By Ian McCullough
Sydney FC chief executive Tony Pignata says there's been interest from around the world for the vacant coaching position following Ian Crook's shock resignation.Crook quit the A-League club just six games into his reign following Saturday's dismal 3-2 defeat by Melbourne Victory, claiming the pressure of the role was affecting his health.That left the Sky Blues looking for a seventh coach in their eight-year history but Pignata is confident of finding a replacement before the end of the month.Former Socceroos coach Frank Farina and two-time A-League-winning mentor Ernie Merrick are among those on the speculation list along with Central Coast boss Graham Arnold and Wellington's Ricki Herbert.Arnold knocked back an offer from Sydney for this season but remains a favourite with bookmakers.Pignata said the Sydney board was in the process of drawing up a shortlist and refused to rule out making a move for a coach already employed by a rival."We'd love to get someone sooner rather than later and we've had a lot of emails and correspondence from around the globe," Pignata told AAP on Monday."Some coaches' contracts have get-out options and we'll explore that."We're in the process of drawing up a shortlist, will have further meetings this week and then we start a process."It may take a couple of weeks and if I'm honest I'd like to get it done as soon as possible as we don't want to leave it too long."Sydney won their two A-League titles under the guidance of foreigners; German World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski in 2006 and Czech Vitezslav Lavicka in 2010.Pignata said there were pros and cons in going down the overseas route again but acknowledged the club cannot afford to be caught out again by employing someone uncomfortable in the spotlight."Someone from the A-League understands the league, the players and the systems," he said."Someone offshore adds extra value bringing in a different level and technical point of view."But it's a pressure cooker environment coaching Sydney FC."There's pressure from the fans and the media. You are under the microscope more than any club apart from Melbourne."It's not just about coaching. It's about being the face of the club and handling difficult times."Pignata denied the presence of Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero would make things difficult for a new man or had anything to do with Crook's exit."Alessandro has not caused any issues with Ian or anyone else at the club," Pignata said."He's a big-name player and that attracts media attention. He's been wonderful for us and for the league and puts bums on seats."Former player and assistant coach Steve Corica is in charge for Friday's clash with Brisbane but Pignata ruled out making it a permanent arrangement."Steve has been working with them from the start of the season and that helps that whole transition process," he said."But we haven't thought about offering him the job to be honest and will probably look elsewhere."