Tony Popovic departs Melbourne Victory: Details

Melbourne Victory have confirmed head coach Tony Popovic has departed the club at the conclusion of his contract.

Popovic bids farewell to Victory after guiding the club to the 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final; defeat to Central Coast Mariners in the title decider proved his final game in charge of the club after a three-season stint at the helm.

Popovic won the Australia Cup with Victory in 2021 and took the club to a second-place finish in his first Isuzu UTE A-League campaign. Victory finished 11th in the following season but swiftly bounced back in 2023-24, finishing third on the table and reaching the Grand Final – a game Popovic’s side led 1-0 at the 90-minute mark before succumbing to a 3-1 extra-time defeat to the Mariners.

Melbourne Victory Chairman John Dovaston said Popovic has left the club in a better place than when he arrived – and the challenge now is to find a head coach who will build off the foundations he put in place.

“Tony enlisted a winning culture which leaves the Club in a better place than when he arrived, challenging for titles and using hard work, discipline and respect to drive outcomes,” Dovaston said.

“The next step for us is to find someone who will be a natural progression from Tony. He has set the foundations for us and we look forward to appointing a Head Coach who will be able to use those foundations and go one step further next season.”

Popovic coached 85 league games across three seasons at Victory. He won 34 of those 85 games, drew 26 and lost 25.

Melbourne Victory Managing Director Caroline Carnegie added: “Tony arrived at the Club at one of its lowest points and left no stone unturned in creating an environment and setting a standard at the Club that would make Melbourne Victory compete for trophies once again,” Carnegie said.

“Winning the Australia Cup was a testament to this new standard as we went agonisingly close to lifting more silverware in his first and third seasons at the Club.

“For us at Melbourne Victory, this is a time where we believe the foundations have been laid for us to continue to take the Club forward and to continue the progression we have made over the last three seasons.  Those foundations are strong from our Academy through to our Senior Men’s program, all of which Tony has had a hand in and for which we thank him.”

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