Gary Cole, Dimi Petratos leave Sydney FC

December 2, 2012
By Liam FitzGibbon

Sydney FC have granted new coach Frank Farina's wish for greater control over his A-League squad by axing football director Gary Cole.

The struggling Sky Blues announced on Monday they had rendered the football director role - created by former chief executive Dirk Melton - unnecessary, with Cole made redundant after almost a year at the club.

The news was followed by an announcement that promising midfielder Dimi Petratos had been allowed to leave the club to take up a deal in Malaysia.

Farina is believed to have pushed for the change that led to Cole's dismissal and Sky Blues chief executive Tony Pignata said the club was fully backing its new coach, who arrived on Friday to take charge of the last-placed team.

"Frank's come in and Frank will be running the football department and the decision was that the role, regardless who was in it, was surplus to requirements so we've made it redundant," Pignata told AAP.

"It's a discussion we've had with Frank. That's how he's done things in the past and we've brought Frank in and we're going to give him the full support.

"It was one of the hard decisions we had to make."

While Cole was in charge of the club's off-season recruitment, Farina will report directly to Pignata under the changes.

And the former Socceroos coach appears to have already made his first decision, with want-away midfielder Petratos allowed to leave the club after requesting a release last week.

The 20-year-old is set to join Malaysian Super League side Kelantan FA on a one-year deal.

His departure could pave the way for Sydney to make a new addition to their side in the coming months.

Cole was hired by Sydney in December last year, eight months after he had been sacked by Melbourne Victory.

Farina will oversee his first training session as head coach on Tuesday as he looks to build on some positive signs shown in the Sky Blues' scoreless draw with Melbourne Heart on Sunday night.

Star player Alessandro Del Piero won't be there though, with scans scheduled on his troublesome right hamstring.

The 38 year-old was substituted with 20 minutes to go against the Heart after experiencing muscle cramps and will undergo an MRI scan as a precaution.

"We'll have to wait and see from Tuesday onwards, see how the MRI looks and go from there," interim coach Steve Corica said.

Sydney are likely to have Fabio available for Sunday's away trip to Wellington, with the left back set to escape punishment for his crude challenge that left Heart's Ben Garuccio facing a stint on the sidelines with an ankle injury.