Popovic reflects on Wanderers, Turkey and making Glory title contenders
It was a period in his coaching career Tony Popovic wishes turned out differently but it’s that turbulent experience in Turkey that may be helping his stunning transformation of Perth Glory.
Popovic famously walked out on Western Sydney Wanderers in the week before the start of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 Season to take up a coaching deal with Karabukspor in the Turkish Super Lig.
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But his tenure at the club lasted just 10 weeks before he was shown the door, with the club struggling for results as well as financially.
“Lots can happen, things can change quickly and I was onto another adventure in Turkey which didn’t turn out the way I wanted in the end, certainly in terms of the way it finished,” Popovic explained to www.a-league.com.au of his time in Europe.
“I’ve taken a lot from that experience, come back, but I never had any plans of what I wanted to do next.
“I certainly wanted to continue coaching but where that would be I was very open-minded with that.”
Fast forward five months and Popovic was back in the Hyundai A-League, appointed as the new boss of Glory.
“When I had the chat with Perth I felt it was the right challenge, in the right place with a group of people, an owner and people in charge who wanted to take the club to another level and make it a club that challenges for honours regularly,” the former Wanderers boss said.
“That was the most exciting part of the project in Perth.”
Popovic added of his Wanderers exit: “You don’t plan to leave the week before a season. That was never the intention.
“The plans were to prepare the team to have a side that could challenge for honours. We felt we had that in terms of the direction of the club, where they were at, at that point, the staff the players, it really felt right going into the season.
“That club will always hold a special place in my heart.
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“My family still supports the club so I’m constantly being told how the results are going and you want to know.
“That doesn’t really change, the difference is now I’m in Perth and I want to beat the Wanderers. I’m happy if they win every other game apart from the ones against us.”
Hear more from Popovic’s EXCLUSIVE chat with www.a-league.com.au in the video player above.