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Dec 12, 2011

Cole seeks stability for Sydney FC

Newly appointed Sydney FC football director Gary Cole already has a wish list of potential signings but wants to bring stability to the A-League club that has gained a reputation for being a transit lounge.

Former Socceroo Cole, who expects to start with Sydney on January 2, spent the best part of six seasons performing a similar role for Melbourne Victory until he was dumped earlier this year.

"They (Sydney) are a big club and big clubs come with big expectations and that's a fantastic working environment and something I'm looking forward to immensely," Cole told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Cole said there were differences between what he did at Victory, where he was the football operations manager and helped build the franchise from scratch, and his new job.

"I think it's fair to say it (Sydney) has not had a stable foundation," Cole said.

"I think (Vitezslav) Lavicka is the fifth coach, Dirk (Melton) is the sixth CEO. The club wants to become stable, so that part I do understand.

"(I want to build) something strong on a culture and foundation that is going to work no matter what."

Cole nominated recruitment and retention as his most immediate priority, with seven Sydney players coming off contract.

He said he had already targeted players that were coming off contract at other clubs.

"There are some young players on that list from around the country that excite me," Cole said.

"Whether we can make them fit inside our salary cap, whether they want to move, who knows?

"That's going to happen over the next few weeks, but I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've already got some texts this morning and surprisingly a number of those texts are from player agents."

Melton said recruiting and retaining players was a more pressing priority than making a decision on the coach for 2012-13, with Lavicka coming off contract at the end of this season.

"Getting that recruitment and retention strategy right is one of the first things we need to do, and that's certainly something which the club, it's probably fair to say, we haven't done as well as what we could have, so we've got to get that right," Melton said.

Melton said Sydney received dozens of applications for the job, including at least ten from overseas.

He said Cole played an instrumental role in Victory's two title wins and created a structure that was recognised as the benchmark in the A-League.

Cole said he carried no scars from being sacked by Victory and always believed the board was responsible for making decisions and determining the strategic direction of the club.

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