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Ex-Crystal Palace defender Popovic guides Western Sydney to A-League Premiership

Former Crystal Palace defender Tony Popovic was full of praise for his Western Sydney Wanderers players after taking out the 2012/13 A-League Premiers Plate.

The newest A-League franchise became the first debutant team in Australian football history to finish on top of the table at the end of the regular season after beating Newcastle Jets 3-0 on the weekend.

The win was celebrated by the Wanderers players and coaching staff, but former Socceroos centre-half Popovic says the job is not yet done with the finals series still to come.

"Obviously (I'm) happy, content - no real big emotions at the moment - I don't know maybe because I am new to this I don't know what to feel but the time will come when we reflect on the season and what a great achievement it has been," said the first-year manager who had a coaching stint with Palace to help cut his teeth.

"I am looking forward to telling the players how proud we are of them.

"It has been an amazing season and it was a great way to finish it off today. It was a pressure game for both teams and the players really stood up. That is what I am really pleased about.

"I am extremely proud of them (the players) and we have been all year.

"Although in this country the grand final winners are recognised as the champions, and we have to respect that…

"Around the world if you come first in the league you are a worthy champion and that is what I will be telling the players.

"But there is still a job to do and in this country we celebrate the grand final winners and that is what we want to do."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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