Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Popovic could be Socceroos coach: D'Apuzzo
By Angela Habashy
Rookie Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic could end up leading a top European club or be at the helm of the Socceroos one day, defender Adam D'Apuzzo says.D'Apuzzo on Thursday extended his contract with the Wanderers until the end of the 2013/14 season.The 26-year-old had played with the Newcastle Jets for five years from 2006 under coaches Gary van Egmond and Branko Culina.But he says no one compares to Popovic.Before joining the Wanderers, D'Apuzzo was playing in the state league and considering giving up the sport and, were it not for a call from the Wanderers' inaugural mentor, he was set for a life in accounting.D'Apuzzo says he has never enjoyed his football more and admits former Crystal Palace assistant Popovic has a lot to do with that."I think he's the best coach I've had," D'Apuzzo said."It seems like he's been doing it for years. The fact that this is the first time he's been head coach is very surprising."His demeanor, the aura about him, it's scary how far I think he'll go in the game of coaching."The Socceroos, who knows, or a super coach in England or big European club somewhere, I wouldn't be surprised."Former Sydney FC midfielder Shannon Cole also committed to the club for next season.The Wanderers sit third on the ladder just months since their formation and continue to attract big crowds with their impressive form.Cole credits Popovic, who was the Sky Blues assistant coach while he was at the club, with the remarkable rise of the Wanderers."I put a huge part of that down to him. It's his vision," Cole said."He was given the opportunity to build a team from scratch and I don't think he would have predicted that the culture of the entire club would have grown so quickly."But he's obviously done the right things in putting the team together and focusing on our style of play."