Culina takes reins

The Newcastle Jets have signed Branko Culina as their new head coach for the next two seasons of the Hyundai A-League.

The Newcastle Jets have signed Branko Culina as their new head coach for the next two seasons of the Hyundai A-League.

Newcastle CEO John Tsatsimus made the announcement at a hastily arranged press conference on Tuesday afternoon, citing stability and familiarity with the players as the key reasons for Culina's appointment in light of Gary van Egmond's surprise departure on Sunday.

"We would like to announce Branko Culina as head coach for the Jets for the 2009/10 and 2010/11 season," he said.

"We are happy to have Branko aboard. He is man of great experience in terms of the old NSL and experiences in Asia and Sydney FC as recent as a couple of seasons ago."

"He is a well-credentialed person and we are fortunate to have him with our club for the next two seasons."

"Branko was an ideal choice because he is not coming in cold. He has been at the club since February (as technical director) - he knows all the players, he knows the club and the administration and he has some great contacts in regards to recruiting players."

Tsatsimas said the club wanted to move quickly to appoint a new head coach for the upcoming season and weren't content to simply appoint someone in a 'caretaker' role.

"This was never considered as a 'caretaker' position and there are a couple of issues relating to that," he said.

"One being that we believe in the people that we have here and the second thing is a there is only five weeks before the season commences - so we needed some conviction, some consistency, and send out a message of stability."

"All other matters concerning the football operations remain as is and we look forward to a successful season."

Newcastle Jets assistant coach Mark Jones will remain as Culina's assistant while Newcastle Jets Youth coach Craig Deans will take up the coaching reins as of Monday while Culina is overseas on a pre-arranged family holiday.

"Mark was a candidate, as was a number of high-profile candidates over the last 48 hours - we have been encouraged by the number of people who would like to come to Newcastle to coach in the A-League."

"Mark would have also been an ideal candidate and we are confident he would have done a great job, but Branko has a bit more experience. Both are very technical types of coaches and we think they will work well together - Mark's time will come."