As expected, Graham Arnold has reportedly agreed to join Sydney FC as head coach for the next three seasons; replacing his former mentor Frank Farina in the Sky Blues’ hot seat.
The former Central Coast Mariners boss had been in talks with the club soon after the board’s decision not to renew Farina’s contract for next season, and ultimately opted to join Sydney ahead of the Newcastle Jets, who were also courting Arnold.
The 50-year-old, who knocked back an offer to coach the Sky Blues in 2012, became available a month ago after parting ways with J-League outfit Vegalta Sendai just five months into his two-year contract with the club.
The Sydney native brings a wealth of experience with him on his return to the Harbour City, having helped the Mariners win the Premiers’ Plate two seasons ago, before guiding them to an A-League championship last year. Those domestic triumphs came after Arnold had served on the Socceroos’ bench for a decade under Farina, Guus Hiddink and Pim Verbeek, as well as a short stint as head coach between 2006 and 2007.
He becomes the Sky Blues’ eighth coach in their short nine-year history, and will be under pressure from the outset with expectations to deliver success to one of Australia’s biggest football clubs.
Success which has been all too rare since the dawn of the A-League.
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