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Feb 2, 2012

Sydney go global for Lavicka replacement

Sydney FC are set to embark on a worldwide search for a new coach after the A-League club and Vitezslav Lavicka mutually agreed to part ways at the end of the season.

The Czech coach's departure comes amid two disappointing seasons since leading them to the premiership-championship double in his first season in 2009/10.

Sydney FC chief executive Dirk Melton said the club met Lavicka earlier this week with both parties agreeing it was time for a "new direction" at the club.

Lavicka said he was sad to depart but had struggled living away from his wife and two daughters, who have been in Prague for the past 12 months.

Melton said the Sky Blues would immediately begin their search for a 2012/13 coach and would consider both international and domestic candidates.

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold and Italian great Gianfranco Zola are among some early names being linked with the club, but Melton stressed the process to find a replacement would be a thorough one.

"There's a pretty structured framework that we're working through in regards to the recruitment so, like the recruitment of any senior position in any business or industry in the world, it's got to be done in the right way," Melton told AAP.

"We'll be looking here and overseas and we've got to work out of the set attributes; what are the must-haves, what can we afford and what can we make happen?"

The Sky Blues are hanging on to sixth spot with eight matches to go this season and captain Terry McFlynn said news of Lavicka's departure would inspire them heading into Sunday's clash with Newcastle at the Sydney Football Stadium.

"The boss has been fantastic since he came to the club," McFlynn said.

"The first season he was here we won the double so it's important for us as players now to send him out as a winner."

Lavicka said he would give his all in making his final months at the club a success and would leave the club proud of his achievements.

"I have enjoyed my time at Sydney FC and I want to continue to do my best and work hard with the players and staff at Sydney FC to be as successful as possible this season," Lavicka said.

"But for next year, I am living too far away from my family and they are very important.

"Since I came to Sydney, I have been lucky to meet many good people, work with professional people - staff and players - and we managed to achieve great success in the first year.

"I will always have good memories of my time in Sydney, especially the Sydney FC members and fans."

Melton announced Lavicka's contribution to the club would be honoured with his name being given to the annual clubman of the year award.

"Vitezslav as a man is beyond reproach," Melton said.

"He is driven by values that make him a tremendous role model. He has incredible integrity, humility and honour and his warm smile, welcoming handshake and positive outlook have set a standard for everyone at the club."

Former Sparta Prague and Czech under 21s coach Lavicka is Sydney's longest serving coach following stints by Pierre Littbarksi, Terry Butcher, Branko Culina and John Kosmina.

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