Ian Crook set to coach Sydney FC

May 13, 2012
By Liam FitzGibbon

Sydney FC are expected to announce Ian Crook as the A-League club's new head coach later on Monday.

The club has called a media conference for 1pm AEST when it's expected they will unveil Englishman Crook, the club's youth coach, as the replacement for departed Vitezslav Lavicka.

It comes after the club missed out on preferred coaching targets Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic.

Former Sky Blues player and assistant Popovic had been mulling over Sydney's offer this weekend but could now be poised to take the reins at the new western Sydney franchise after meeting with both clubs last week.

Crook, 49, has 13 years of coaching experience in Australia, Japan and Britain as well as experience as a head coach in the old NSL with Newcastle United.

He was the Sky Blues' assistant coach under Pierre Littbarski when Sydney claimed the inaugural A-League title in 2004-05.

Crook left Sydney six months after German Littbarksi and re-linked with him at Japanese club Avispa Fukuoka before moving on for spells as technical director at Newcastle Jets and first team coach with Norwich in England.

Since returning to Australia in 2010, Crook has worked in youth development roles with Sydney Olympic, the NSW Institute of Sport and the Sky Blues.

Sydney's youth team finished sixth under his guidance last season but Crook impressed the club in aiding the development of the likes of Joel Chianese and Mitch Mallia, who broke into the senior squad.

Crook would become Sydney's sixth coach heading into the eighth season of the A-League, following Littbarski, Terry Butcher, Branko Culina, John Kosmina and Lavicka, who has returned Europe after three seasons in charge.

The Sky Blues had sought Popovic after their No.1 coaching target, Central Coast's Arnold, made a late decision to remain with the Mariners.