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Popovic departs Crystal Palace for Western Sydney job

Crystal Palace have confirmed the departure of coach Tony Popovic.

The former Eagles and Australian national team defender has spent the past season as part of Dougie Freedman's coaching staff at Selhurst Park but has now returned to Australia to take the management reins of new A-League club Western Sydney.

Popovic has signed a five-year deal to lead the newest A-League franchise and has received the best wishes from Palace after helping the South London club finish 17th on the Championship table.

"It is with regret we announce Tony's departure and we would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his hard work whilst at the club over the last year," read a short statement on Palace's official website.

Popovic added: "I have a great relationship with the manager and chairman at Crystal Palace.

"I did have a contract there but building something from scratch, coming out to the west where I started my football was an opportunity hard to turn down.

"Crystal Palace have really backed me on this and supported it and see my passion about the role. They gave the all clear and after that it was a pretty easy decision.

"In terms of education, I went there to improve as a coach and I'm sure I have done that. We went through three months of relegation battle and that was a steep learning curve."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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