Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Popovic in sights of Sydney FC, Boogaard signs on at Reds and more
Tony Popovic is now first choice for the vacant Sydney FC job, according to The Daily Telegraph. The Sydney newspaper claims the Sky Blues, having missed out on Graham Arnold and Newcastle Jets coach Gary van Egmond, will meet Crystal Palace assistant Tony Popovic on Thursday to gauge his candidacy for the role. Popovic is also reportedly a target of the A-League's new western Sydney team, having grown up in Fairfield. But he has strong ties with Sydney FC, ending his playing career with the Sky Blues and holding an assistant's role under now-departed Czech coach Vitezslav Lavicka.
Adelaide United have secured the services of centre defender Nigel Boogaard until the end of the 2013-14 A-League season. The two-year deal allows Boogaard, 25, to focus on his side's AFC Champions League campaign, with the Reds top of Group E with one match to play. "I always had plans to stay and continue my time here and am glad that we have been able to work something out," the former Central Coast Mariners defender said. "I'm looking forward to the rest of the AFC Champions League and feel with the squad we have, hopefully we can finish the campaign off well and take this success into next season. The former Australian Under-23 representative played almost every game this season under coach John Kosmina, having joined United in 2010.
Ryan Griffiths is delighted he is continuing his career with the Newcastle Jets, and has praised the response of fans during an "uncertain" few weeks for the club. Jets' owners Hunter Sports Group announced in April they intended to hand their licence for the club back to Football Federation Australia due to several unresolved issues between the two parties, only for a compromise to be reached last Wednesday. Griffiths praised the actions of the Jets' diehard fans, who rallied to keep the club in the A-League. "There was a fantastic response when the club's future was uncertain," he told footballaustralia.com. "If we can get all those people with that kind of passion coming to our games, that is what we want and I think that will definitely contribute to us being successful."
Australia's national women's team will take on 2011 Women's World Cup winners Japan in a friendly in July. In what looms as a busy few weeks for the 2010 Asian Cup champions, the Matildas will also play two matches against New Zealand, on June 24 and 27, before travelling to Tokyo to meet Japan on July 11. Both New Zealand and Japan are preparing for the 2012 London Olympics, and should face a stern test against a Matildas side that could contain overseas stars such as Kyah Simon and Tameka Butt [both Boston Breakers], Lisa De Vanna [Linkoping FC], Sally Shipard [Bayer Leverkusen], Emily van Egmond [Western New York Flash], and Collette McCallum and Laura Alleway [Lincoln Ladies].