Star FFA Cup Arthur Papas coach heads to Saudi club

Arthur Papas encourages his Green Gully side during this season's Westfield FFA Cup.

Australian coach Arthur Papas has left PS4 NPL Victoria club Green Gully to join Saudi Arabian Pro League club Al-Ettifaq as an assistant coach, the club confirmed on Thursday.

Papas, a former assistant at the Jets and Melbourne Heart, joins one of Saudi Arabia’s most successful clubs as a first-team assistant to Dutchman and former Villareal coach Eelco Schattorie for the remaining three months of the Saudi season.

This is the highly-regarded 37-year-old’s second stint in Asia having previously coached in India, where he first met Schattorie.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to join such a big club, in a league that is regarded within the top three in Asia,” Papas said on the Green Gully website.

“I am very grateful to the Green Gully board for allowing me to pursue this offer, it’s the only part of making this move which has been difficult as Green Gully are an outstanding club, filled with fantastic people across all levels, but I also know I would have regretted not accepting this challenge.”

Papas is regarded as one of Australia’s best young managers and has achieved some exceptional results in recent years, especially in the Westfield FFA Cup.

Just last year he masterminded Green Gully’s shock 2-1 round of 32 win over Hyundai A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners.

Gully went on to make the quarter-finals where they were beaten by Canberra Olympic.

He also took Gully to the NPL finals last season after a three-year absence.

In 2015, at the helm of PS4 NPL Victorian outfit Oakleigh Cannons, Papas also got his squad through to the last eight after wins over North Queensland Heat and MetroStars.

Gully have appointed the club’s under-20 coach Brian Vanega as Papas’ replacement ahead of the club’s next match against Bulleen Lions on Monday.

Source : Football Federation Australia

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