Former Sydney FC goalkeeper Clint Bolton believes Frank Farina did as good a job as possible as coach of the Sky Blues but is not surprised by his sacking.
Former Sydney FC goalkeeper Clint Bolton believes Frank Farina did as good a job as possible as coach of the Sky Blues but is not surprised the club decided to sack him.
Farina was shown the door at Sydney on Wednesday after the club's exit from the Hyundai A-League finals at the hands of Melbourne Victory last weekend.
It was announced barely a day after the club-s Sky Blue Ball, which Farina attended, with the club making no mention of the impending coaching change on the night.
Bolton, who won two championships with the Sky Blues in 2006 and 2010, praised his former mentor at Brisbane Strikers for the way he has handled himself during a tumultuous stint in charge at Moore Park.
But the ex-Socceroos shot-stopper said the writing has been on the wall for much of the campaign for Farina.
"There's been a lot of talk and innuendo through the season around his contract and when the club and the board aren't coming out in his defence it's pretty clear what's on their mind," Bolton told www.footballaustralia.com.au.
"Frank handled himself as well as he could of. He was a class act and he's always been a class act.
"To be honest I think he probably did as well as he could of with this team this season. There's always stuff happening at Sydney FC away from the football field.
"To operate in that environment and to get them to the finals and playing well in the finals...you have to remember they were only two games away from the grand final.
“He's had a pretty good season in the end."
While much of the criticism surrounding Farina has been around the style he got his team playing, Bolton leapt to his former coach's defence.
"The second half of the season onwards they looked a lot more structured and it was an effective brand of football.
“There's nothing wrong with that, not everyone is going to be a Brisbane Roar or Adelaide United," he said.
"It was the brand of football that's won us championships before. Season five we weren't pretty but we were effective.
"We were professional, structured, disciplined and that's what won us a championship. Frank had the same style and it worked quite well in the second half of the year."
Speculation has already turned to who will take over at Sydney, with former Central Coast boss Graham Arnold the early favourite in the media.
However, it-s believed the former Socceroos boss isn-t interested in the job.
Alessandro Del Piero has also been mentioned, though there are questions over the level of his coaching badges, as well as former skipper Mark Rudan and ex-Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond.
But Bolton says before they even think about a candidate, they need to put the right systems in place off the field to ensure they can build a successful club.
"It's really important they figure out their long-term vision for the football department first," Bolton said.
"They've got Han Berger in there now and they should be locking in a long-term blueprint for the club, around what style of football they want to play.
"A philosophy around a junior set up they have in mind there before they even go down the line of selecting a coach. They need to find a coach that suits their long-term vision."
The decision to part ways with Farina also came as a shock to the players, with defender Sasa Ognenovski believing the side was on the right track under the former Socceroos boss.
"He's (Farina) always handled himself with dignity and shown a strong front for the players and the club," Ognenovski said on Fox Sports.
"For myself I'm just disappointed that Frank's been let go. I thought in the short time I was there we were building into a formidable team and building into a styled team.
"With a new coach, whoever it may be, we have to start all over again."