Corica promoted to head coach to replace Arnold at Sydney FC

Man in charge: Former Sydney FC star Steve Corica has been named as the club's new head coach. Picture: Brendan Esposito
Man in charge: Former Sydney FC star Steve Corica has been named as the club's new head coach. Picture: Brendan Esposito

Steve Corica is Sydney FC's new head coach, stepping up after serving a seven- year apprenticeship as assistant.

The 45-year-old former Socceroos midfielder has been preferred over a number of foreign candidates as the man to replace Graham Arnold.

Corica was previously an assistant at Sydney FC under four head coaches - Vitezslav Lavicka, Ian Crook, Frank Farina and then Arnold.

Corica scored the Sky Blues’ winning goal in the inaugural Hyundai A-League Final in 2006 has been with the club since inception having played 137 times, scoring 31 goals.

In 2015 Corica was the first person to be inducted into the Sydney FC Hall of Fame at the Sky Blues 10 Year Anniversary lunch and said he was looking forward to working with the players and staff.

“I’m ecstatic and honoured to be the new Head Coach of Sydney FC, it’s a great club that is extremely close to my heart and one I am very passionate about,” Corica said.

“I’ve been here since day one, as a player, a captain, a youth team coach and an A-League assistant coach and now it’s the right time to step up. It’s a huge privilege.

“We’ve a very talented group of players and staff and with the majority of the squad from the last two years staying together, we want to grow the club and I expect to be challenging again for the top trophies.

“I have always had a great relationship with the Members and fans and I hope they will come with us again next season in both the A-League, FFA Cup and AFC Champions League.

“We’ve a hugely exciting period in front of us and I am keen to get started on planning next season’s success straight away.”

Sydney FC chairman Scott Barlow said Corica has been an integral part of the club’s success over the last two years.

‘‘He has proven himself to be an outstanding coach and is well and truly ready to take on this role.

“Steve is a legend of our club, he has been a Sydney FC player, captain, youth coach, assistant coach and now becomes Head Coach.

“We are proud to be able to promote from within, it is yet another sign of our progress and maturity as a club.

“His appointment provides us with continuity as we look to build on our many recent successes and deliver more silverware to our Members and fans.”

The appointment of Corica, who played for Sydney from 2005-2010, signals a decision by the club to stick with the philosophy and culture that brought so much success under Socceroos coach-in-waiting Arnold.

Defensive rock Alex Wilkinson has re-signed though his central defensive partner Jordy Buijs and right-back Luke Wilkshire have both left the club.

Bobo's expected re-commitment is still to be confirmed and, while the club is optimistic Milos Ninkovic will also stay, the futures of skipper Alex Brosque, David Carney, Fabio Ferreira and Anthony Kalik remain up in the air.

Pacy attacker Trent Buhagiar was signed from Central Coast last week.