Tony Popovic quits Western Sydney Wanderers to join Turkey’s Karabukspor


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Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic quit the A-League club on Sunday just five days before the start of the new season.

After five seasons at the Wanderers, Popovic will join Turkish club Karabukspor.

After finishing 12th in the Turkish top flight last season, Karabukspor have made a disastrous start to their 2017-18 campaign, with one win in their first seven games.

The former Australia international defender replaces Erkan Sözeri, who quit with the club sitting third from bottom in the Super Lig.

Popovic’s Western Sydney contract was due to run until the end of the 2017-18 season after re-signing for three years in mid-2015.

Tony Popovic, right, took Western Sydney Wanderers to AFC Champions League glory in 2014.

The 44-year-old was the Wanderers’ first coach when they entered the A-League in 2012, and guided them to consecutive Grand Final appearances in their first two seasons of existence.

Popovic also steered his side to a famous win in the AFC Champions League in 2014, earning him the AFC coach of the year award.

At about that time, Popovic was linked with a job at Premier League club Crystal Palace, where he played over 100 games.

He also reportedly rejected a move to Chinese powerhouses Shanghai Shenhua late last year.

Following a poor season in 2014-15 in which Western Sydney finished ninth, they bounced back with another Grand Final appearance in 2015-16, but again fell short in a 3-1 loss to Adelaide United.

Western Sydney host Perth in round one of the new A-League season on Oct. 8.

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