The door is open for Tony Popovic’s fairytale return to Wanderers

Tony Popovic during his days at the Wanderers.
Share this story

The Western Sydney Wanderers have hit a snag in announcing their new head coach for next season after their long-time Chairman quit his post.

Businessman Paul Lederer, who has been Chairman of the Wanderers since the club’s inception more than a decade ago, stood down from his role due to “personal family matters and ever-increasing global business commitments”.

“Mr Lederer will relinquish the role with immediate effect but remains committed to the club in perpetuity as a shareholder and club director,” the Wanderers said in a statement.

“Once elected, the new Chairman, will lead the process of recruiting the club’s new Isuzu UTE A-League head coach.”

The Wanderers have been on the hunt for a new head coach since they parted ways with Marko Rudan last month.

Rudan still had several years to run on his contract but decided to pull the pin to help care for his sick mother.

Mark Rudan.

As to who will replace him, many experts and long-time fans are predicting the return of the club’s inaugural coach Tony Popovic.

In a strange twist of fate, the 50-year-old also quit his role as head coach of Melbourne Victory earlier this month – just weeks after guiding the club to a Grand Final appearance.

Sources say Popovic departed Victory due to a falling out with the club’s football director, John Didulica.

Following the shock announcement the former Socceroo was jobless, social media began to connect the dots in attempt to predict Popovic’s next move.

It would be a fairytale scenario.

In a recent interview with Dave Lewis from leading football website, Western Sydney Wanderers sporting director Eddy Bosnar confirmed the club had a shortlist of six coaches to replace Rudan.

Bosnar said one of the coaches on Western Sydney’s radar was Popovic.

“Of course he is. But it’s a long process and a lot of things have to happen for anything to be approved,” Bosnar told

Tony Popovic.

Popovic would be a mighty get for the Wanderers, who haven’t tasted Finals success since he was last at the helm.

During Popovic’s initial five-year tenure at Wanderland, the club reached the A-League Grand Final on three occasions, won the Premier’s Plate in their very first season, and were crowned Champions of Asia after becoming the first Aussie club to win the AFC Champions League.

The Wanderers are expected to confirm a new head coach in the coming weeks, once a new Chairman has been locked in to replace Lederer.
Other coaches in the mix to replace Rudan include current Perth Glory coach Alen Stajcic.

Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Weekender's Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.

Share this story