When I last updated my blog, Crooky – who is one of the nicest blokes in the game – was in charge at Sydney FC and I was off to PNG to start my new job as OFC Technical Advisor and Coach Mentor.
Crooky - all the best mate. I hope to see you around.
I’d also like to thank the President of Oceania Football Confederation and the PNG Football Association, David Chung, as well as David Brand who is a consultant to PNG FA and Tai Nicholas and his team at OFC for their support. Not only did they offer me the opportunity to work with them, but they also understood my wish to return to the A-League and try my hand again at that level of football.
But PNG is the country of my boyhood, and is very mixed up for me with memories of my late father who made his home here for many years after arriving as a migrant from Bologna, Italy. So it will always be special for me as are many of the people and players that I have come into contact with.
In terms of Sydney FC, it’s a club that not only is big, but it has to be big. It’s a foundation club for the A-League in Australia’s biggest city and it’s essential for the success of the A-League that Sydney teams perform well.
I know I’m not the popular choice with all fans but that’s football and that’s life.
To those fans who don’t want me because they disagree with me on football issues, that’s great. Football is a game of opinions, and you are entitled to your opinion.
To those who criticise and denigrate me because of the circumstances under which I was sacked by Brisbane Roar, I would just ask you two questions. Have you ever done anything you wish you hadn’t done? Do you think people should be punished for the rest of their lives?
If the answer to the first question is “no”, then good on you. And if the answer to the second question is “yes”, then we’ll have to agree to disagree. Let’s leave it at that.
To all of you have written or tweeted congratulations and good wishes – thank you. It’s truly been overwhelming and I can’t possibly thank you all personally. You can be absolutely certain that the task at hand will have my full focus and commitment.
I know that Sydney FC fans are amongst the most knowledgeable in the country and I’m really looking forward to having The Cove on my side for once. You guys and gals are a formidable outfit and I hope you’re out in full voice on Sunday and every game.
What I want to say to the players and the playing staff is a private matter and I don’t intend writing about it here ever.
But I will just add that it’s been a pleasure to deal with Tony Pignata in recent days and I look forward to working with him to help Sydney FC be the great team that Sydney deserves.
Thanks again to David Chung, David Brand, Tai Nicholas and the good folks at PNG FA and OFC; to the Sydney FC Board and Tony Pignata for their faith in me; and to the many supporters of the club and the game.
See you on Sunday.