EPL Greats Applaud Appointment Of Ian Crook As Sydney FC Head Coach

Sydney FC Foundation Coach Ian Crook was today unveiled as the Sky Blues Head Coach for the next two Hyundai A-League seasons.

Sydney FC Foundation Coach Ian Crook was today unveiled as the Sky Blues Head Coach for the next two Hyundai A-League seasons.

Crook was the Assistant Coach alongside Pierre Littbarski when Sydney FC won the inaugural Hyundai A-League Championship in 2005/06, also helping the Sky Blues to qualify for and compete in the 2005 FIFA World Club Championship in Japan.

The 49-year-old has coached in Asia, England and Australia following a glittering playing career that saw him play 15 seasons in the English Premier League for Tottenham and Norwich City FC, making a combined 457 appearances for the two clubs.

Crook spent the last two years as the Sydney FC National Youth League Coach and A-League Assistant Coach after returning from England where he was first team coach at Norwich City, helping them win promotion to the English Championship in 2009/10.

“Sydney FC is pleased to announce Ian Crook as the Sydney FC Head Coach for the next two seasons,” said Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow. “His passion for Sydney FC runs deep, he has an impressive coaching and football knowledge and he is familiar with the Club and what we are trying to achieve.

“Ian already has an important place in Sydney FC history as a member of the coaching staff in our Foundation Season and he knows what it takes to help steer Sydney FC to success in the A-League.

“He has since picked up valuable coaching experience in Asia and England, as well as immersing himself in the Sydney football community while coaching the Sydney FC National Youth League and NSWIS squads.”

Crook, who was named 2001/02 NSL Coach of the Year with Newcastle United, is eager to return to the competitive environment of the Hyundai A-League.

“I-m thrilled and honoured to be named as Head Coach of Sydney FC,” Crook said. “This Club is very special to me after being part of its birth and early success and since returning to Australia I have enjoyed working with the younger players.

“Over the last few months the competitive urge has been re-ignited inside me and after spending the last two seasons nurturing and developing young players the time is right for me to step back into a Head Coach role.

Crook is credited with developing the careers of young attack minded players such as Joel Chianese, Terry Antonis and Mitch Mallia, who have recently broken into the senior squad, and hopes to continue with the same coaching philosophy.

“To get this opportunity at Sydney FC is fantastic and I can-t wait to start working on the pitch with the players, Steve Corica, Zeljko Kalac and the football staff to make sure we get Sydney FC back where it belongs.

“We have a lot to do but I-m excited about working with Gary Cole (Football Director) on our recruitment and retention to bring success to the Club and a team that the Sydney FC fans can be proud of.” The appointment has been endorsed by past and present English Premier League managers Steve Bruce and Martin O-Neill as well as former Sydney FC greats Pierre Littbarski and Dwight Yorke.

Sydney FC Captain Terry McFlynn, who was also a member of the Sydney FC 2005/06 Foundation playing squad has also applauded the move.

“We-re delighted that Crooky has been appointed as Head Coach,” McFlynn said. “He has huge respect among the players who know his standing in the game.

“His coaching sessions are first class and whenever he has stepped in the boys have thoroughly enjoyed working with him.

“He knows what is required to be successful at a club like Sydney FC where pressure and expectation is high and we look forward to having him lead us into the 2012/13 season.”

Follow Ian Crook on Twitter - @chippycrook63

Sydney FC is taking expressions of interest from fans keen to register their support for the 2012-13 season. Simply log onto my.sydneyfc.com to update or add your information.