Ian Crook Steps Down As Head Coach Of Sydney FC In 'Shock Resignation'
A-League Sydney FC Coach IAN CROOK resigned Sunday morning in the wake of Saturday night's 3-2 defeat to Melbourne Victory, according to Sebastian Hassett of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The Sky Blues boss was "abused by fans" at the end of the match. Crook quit suddenly on Sunday. Assistant coach STEVE CORICA will step in until a permanent replacement is found (SMH, 11/11). In Sydney, Dominic Bossi reported that Sydney players are "struggling to come to terms with the shock resignation" of Crook, and believe they "must take their share of the blame for the club's poor start to the season." Forward BLAKE POWELL said that the players "should take their share of responsibility" for the club's plight. Powell: ''I feel like I've let down Crook a bit. If we had the right results, we wouldn't be talking about this." The players were informed of Crook's decision to quit at their recovery session on Sunday morning. Powell admitted the news was ''very hard'' to accept. Powell was one of many talented youth players who were promoted to the first team under Crook's tenure and believes Crook's resignation is "a blow to the club's aspirations for the season" (SMH, 11/12). The AAP's Adrian Warren wrote that Sydney CEO TONY PIGNATA is "adamant his club's reputation as a transit lounge for coaches won't affect their search for a quality replacement." Sydney is now searching for its seventh head coach in eight seasons. Pignata: "Ian wanted to make the decision, he felt he had to make the decision, we respect that. But does that impact on future coaches? I don't think so" (AAP, 11/11).
NO PLAYER-COACH: In Sydney, Tom Smithies reported that Sydney's new coach will not be player ALESSANDRO DEL PIERO, despite his "wealth of football experience." Club officials including Chair Scott Barlow, Pignata and Football Dir Gary Cole "will meet shortly to lay the terms for a search" to find a new coach (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 11/12).