Clinton Bolton praises class act Frank Farina after Sydney FC axing

Thursday, 24 April 2014 1:22 PM

File:Sydney FC logo.svg

Former Sydney FC goalkeeper Clint Bolton believes Frank Farina did as good a job as possible as coach of the Sky Blues but is not surprised the club decided to sack him.

Farina was shown the door at Sydney on Wednesday after the club’s exit from the Hyundai A-League finals at the hands of Melbourne Victory last weekend.

It was announced barely a day after the club’s Sky Blue Ball, which Farina attended, with the club making no mention of the impending coaching change on the night.

Bolton, who won two championships with the Sky Blues in 2006 and 2010, praised his former mentor at Brisbane Strikers for the way he has handled himself during a tumultuous stint in charge at Moore Park.

But the ex-Socceroos shot-stopper said the writing has been on the wall for much of the campaign for Farina.

“There’s been a lot of talk and innuendo through the season around his contract and when the club and the board aren’t coming out in his defence it’s pretty clear what’s on their mind,” Bolton told

“Frank handled himself as well as he could of. He was a class act and he’s always been a class act.

“To be honest I think he probably did as well as he could of with this team this season. There’s always stuff happening at Sydney FC away from the football field.

“To operate in that environment and to get them to the finals and playing well in the finals…you have to remember they were only two games away from the grand final.

“He’s had a pretty good season in the end.”

While much of the criticism surrounding Farina has been around the style he got his team playing, Bolton leapt to his former coach’s defence.

“The second half of the season onwards they looked a lot more structured and it was an effective brand of football.

“There’s nothing wrong with that, not everyone is going to be a Brisbane Roar or Adelaide United,” he said.

“It was the brand of football that’s won us championships before. Season five we weren’t pretty but we were effective.

“We were professional, structured, disciplined and that’s what won us a championship. Frank had the same style and it worked quite well in the second half of the year.”

Speculation has already turned to who will take over at Sydney, with former Central Coast boss Graham Arnold the early favourite in the media.

However, it’s believed the former Socceroos boss isn’t interested in the job.

Alessandro Del Piero has also been mentioned, though there are questions over the level of his coaching badges, as well as former skipper Mark Rudan and ex-Newcastle coach Gary van Egmond.

But Bolton says before they even think about a candidate, they need to put the right systems in place off the field to ensure they can build a successful club.

“It’s really important they figure out their long-term vision for the football department first,” Bolton said.

“They’ve got Han Berger in there now and they should be locking in a long-term blueprint for the club, around what style of football they want to play.

“A philosophy around a junior set up they have in mind there before they even go down the line of selecting a coach. They need to find a coach that suits their long-term vision.”

The decision to part ways with Farina also came as a shock to the players, with defender Sasa Ognenovski believing the side was on the right track under the former Socceroos boss.

“He’s (Farina) always handled himself with dignity and shown a strong front for the players and the club,” Ognenovski said on Fox Sports.

“For myself I’m just disappointed that Frank’s been let go. I thought in the short time I was there we were building into a formidable team and building into a styled team.

“With a new coach, whoever it may be, we have to start all over again.”



Source : Football Federation Australia

File:Sydney FC logo.svg

Sydney FC sack Frank Farina

Wednesday, 23 April 2014 4:26 PM

Sydney FC sack Frank Farina

Frank Farina has been sacked by Sydney FC with the club releasing a statement after a board meeting decided the former Socceroo coach’s fate today.

Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow acknowledged the contribution Farina made to the club over the last two years.

“Frank joined us as coach in a difficult period last season and has always given his absolute dedication and commitment to the club,” he said in a brief statement.

The hunt for a new coach will now move into overdrive with Graham Arnold a likely candidate for the job.

“Frank has shown great integrity and resolve in what has been often challenging circumstances this year,” added Barlow.

Sydney FC finished fifth in the Hyundai A-League but were knocked out of the Finals Series by Melbourne Victory last weekend.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Uncertain futures for Alessandro Del Piero, Frank Farina

Saturday, 19 April 2014 11:09 AM


Frank Farina says a decision on Alessandro Del Piero’s Sydney FC playing future is yet to be made, with the coach’s own tenure also the subject of conjecture.

The Sky Blues’ 2013-14 campaign came to an end when they lost 2-1 to Melbourne Victory in the first A-League elimination final on Friday night.

Marquee international and club captain Del Piero is out of contract, and it’s not known whether the 39-year-old will seek to remain in the Harbour City for a third season, although he appeared to express his interest in doing so in a television interview given after the defeat at Etihad Stadium.

‘Well that we don’t know yet,’ Farina said when asked about the likelihood of Del Piero extending his Sydney stay.

‘That’s something (we’ll wait on) out of respect for what Alessandro wants to do. He’s been fantastic for Australian football both on the field and off the field. And for Sydney. As a city and as a club. He’s been wonderful, but we’ve got to respect and see what he wants to do.

‘The football club will always move forward, irrespective of whether one player stays or goes. Nothing’s built around one individual.’

Farina confirmed that any other plans regarding recruitment and transfers would be largely dependent on whether or not the World Cup-winning marquee player stays or goes.

‘Discussions have to be had,’ he said. ‘I think it’ll be relatively quick now in terms of discussions and a decision. That’s up to Alessandro. He’ll most probably need a bit of time after this game to settle his head.’

‘I haven’t personally spoken to Alessandro about anything. That’s something that will take place and will be made public after all decisions are made.’

Farina offered some cryptic remarks about his own position. It had been reported that the former Socceroos boss needed to achieve a fourth-placed finish or higher in the table to trigger an extension clause.

But despite having guided the Sky Blues to fifth and an exit in the first round of the playoffs, he insisted he had a deal with the club beyond the end of this season.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Frank Farina: Sydney FC still need more consistency

Monday, 7 April 2014 8:35 AM

File:Sydney FC logo.svg

  Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has warned his side their inconsistent form could prove costly if they make the A-League finals, despite a convincing 4-1 triumph over a short-handed Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night at Allianz Stadium. The result means the Sky Blues are in the box seat for a finals position. Sitting in sixth, they are three points ahead of seventh-placed Newcastle and are three goals better off in terms of goal advantage. Sydney have the chance to seal a spot in the top six when they face Perth Glory in their last match of the regular season, although a loss will leave them in jeopardy of dropping out should Newcastle beat Adelaide. On Sunday night, though, Alessandro Del Peiro was the star for the home fans (and pantomime villain for away supporters) in scoring two first-half goals. The first came after a dubious penalty decision and the second from a tremendous free kick, before Seb Ryall and Ali Abbas scored in the second period, with Wellington’s loan goal coming via a Carlos Hernandez penalty. Yet, while the big win was welcome, it also hinted at other issues for Farina that may come back to haunt his side. ‘We have got to be more consistent with that and we haven’t been,’ said Farina. ‘In previous games we have given away far too much possession too easily and tonight was one of the good examples, a bit like Victory away – the 5-0 – which was very good as well. ‘But they are too sporadic for my liking, but at this stage of the season where it is the business end it is pleasing but we have to back that up.’ The former Socceroos boss was quick to quash any notion of Sydney FC’s win was only due to the influence of 39 year-old Italian marquee Del Piero. ‘That’s opinions from different people,’ stated Farina of the former Juventus legend’s impact. ‘I thought collectively we were very good today. Alessandro scored twice but I think it was a great team performance. Farina said his team can handle the pressure of needing to win next week’s clash to guarantee a spot in the finals. ‘The spotlight is more on us than it is on anyone else,’ Farina said. ‘There are other teams in that same position (trying to make the finals). ‘We are big enough and strong enough physically and mentally to handle that as a group. ‘We got out each week to try to be successful, win games and try to win the comp. The topsy-turvy nature of the Sky Blue’s season, one that’s seen fans take umbrage at Sydney’s management and call for Farina’s head – has meant the side has faced constant pressure said Farina. ‘We have gone 26 games with pressure every week for whatever reason, coming from wherever so it’s not a problem trust me,’ he said. Despite the fact the match was played in wet conditions Farina thought his player’s improved as the fixture wore on and he doesn’t expect to change their training schedule heading in to the finals. ‘We have got a week and they are professional footballers so that’s not an issue,’ said Farina. ‘We will have the same schedule that we have had in place for his week, nothing will change there.’ And Farina refused to concede his side wasn’t a chance of taking the title if they make the top six. ‘The finals are a new competition but history shows one or two normally take the title, but there is always a first time,’ he said. Sydney FC host Perth Glory in the final match of the regular season at Allianz Stadium on Sunday 13 April, 5.00pm kick-off. Click here to purchase tickets.

Source : Football Federation Australia

No decision made on Alessandro Del Piero: Frank Farina

March 20, 2014

Angela Habashy

Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has quashed reports star skipper Alessandro Del Piero will leave the A-League club at season’s end.

Fairfax Media reported on Saturday that the Sydney FC board met last week and decided not to offer the Italian the one-year contract extension he was seeking.

But Farina said a decision was yet to be made.

Sydney FC's marquee player may be headed for the door.

Sydney FC’s marquee player may be headed for the door. Photo: Getty Images

“The story that suggested that was the case, it’s not,” he said on Thursday.


“Discussions haven’t been held with Alessandro out of respect for what he wants to do, which is finish as high up the table as we can.

“But no, there’s no decision been made what so ever.”

Frank Farina says 12 players are fighting for contracts next season.

Frank Farina says 12 players are fighting for contracts next season. Photo: Getty Images

More than half Farina’s squad, 12 out of 23, are off contract at the end of this season.

The likes of Joel Chianese, Serbian recruits Ranko Despotovic and Milos Dimitrijevic, Richard Garcia, Matt Jurman, Mitchell Mallia, Terry McFlynn, Ivan Necevski, Sasa Ognenovski, Blake Powell and Marc Warren along withDel Piero could all be heading for the exit door come May 30.

With four games remaining, not only will the club be fighting for a top-six spot but all 12 will be fighting for their jobs.

“I think every player is playing, not for their career, but playing to get a contract or justify why we’ve signed them,” Farina said.

“We are in discussions with a number of players, but it’s not the priority at this stage.”

Socceroos centre-back Ognenovski has been a key addition since joining the club in February, helping tighten the side’s leaky defence.

But the veteran hinted at a possible move to Melbourne next season.

“I’m originally from Melbourne so it would be nice to go home,” the 34-year-old said.

“So I’ll have a chat with the club and we might be doing something shortly.”

Del Piero, who is earning about $4 million a season with the Sky Blues and turns 40 in November, sat out last Friday’s clash due to a hamstring complaint.

Similar complaints have restricted his game time this season after a brilliant debut campaign in 2012-13 with the Sky Blues that yielded a club-record 14 goals.

Farina said he was reluctant to risk playing him last week with Sydney, currently in fifth spot, facing a tough run into the finals.

The coach said Del Piero had trained well and would be likely to play in Friday’s crucial encounter away to Adelaide.

It doesn’t get any easier next week with Sydney to face Melbourne Victory away followed by home clashes to Wellington and Perth.

“You roll the dice last week and you might miss him for two or three weeks,” Farina said.

“Now with four massive games to go he should be ok.”


Source :The Sydney Morning Herald

Frank Farina disappointed in Sydney FC




Frank Farina was unhappy with how much possession his team gave away in Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar.

Even though Besart Berisha was sent off in the 40th minute, the Sky Blues failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage.

‘I’m disappointed, especially when they go to 10 men but we were our own worst enemies tonight,’ Farina declared.

‘We’ve seen it in the past even when we’ve gone down to 10 men it’s been very difficult for other teams, we couldn’t take advantage of it tonight.’

Farina explained that wrong decisions, bad passes and poor touches were the reason his team didn’t perform better on the night and take advantage of the extra man.

‘If you look at the stats, the possession we turned over in our own half or the middle third was terrible to say the least and we’ve got to be better than that if we’re going to take advantage of those situations.’

‘I wasn’t happy. It was as though we were almost scared, panicking, rushing. I certainly expect better.’

The Sydney FC coach felt poor transition led to the Roar’s opener.

‘The first goal was a sucker punch,’ he said.

‘We were attacking and in transition as I said previously, 80-90 percent of goals in the A-league this year are scored in transition with one team attacking, losing possession and bang a goal and that’s what happened with the first goal.’

When pushed to comment about Berisha’s sending off, Farina claims it was difficult to see what happened.

‘I don’t know, you don’t see it you just see the clash, especially where we were.

‘Seba (Sebastian Ryall) got a yellow card for pushing, as far as I know it was a double-footed tackle.’

Farina says that marquee Alesandro Del Piero’s injury isn’t too serious but more precautionary.

‘There was some fluid on the hamstring, no tear. He had the scan earlier this week on Tuesday, he couldn’t train and there was no point risking him, not with what we’ve got coming up.’

‘If it was a final we would’ve taken this risk, it wasn’t worth it with the amount of games still to play and with a lot at stake.’

Source : Football Federation Australia

Apology would have averted Football Federation Australia probe, says Frank Farina

March 12, 2014 – 6:41 PM

If Ali Abbas had received an apology there would be no need for the FFA’s investigation into alleged racial vilification, says Sydney FC coach Frank Farina.

Farina on Wednesday voiced his support for his Iraq-born midfielder who claimed he was the victim of slurs against his religion and culture during Saturday’s heated 3-1 derby win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Sydney FC on Monday lodged an official complaint to Football Federation Australia (FFA), prompting what could be a drawn out dispute process.

Ali Abbas

Ali Abbas Photo: Getty Images

Farina admitted he was disappointed the incident had overshadowed his side’s momentous victory but he also praised Abbas’ handling of the on-field post-match television interview when he made the claim as he explained his fiery behaviour.


“That situation could have been quashed straight away,” Farina said on Wednesday.

“Ali Abbas is a very honest, reliable, loyal person and for him to react that way, I have not seen him react that way since I’ve been at the club.

“So obviously the alleged incident, that something was said, I believe Ali unequivocally.

“But the whole situation could have been finished. Knowing Ali really well, if it had been said and if the person that said it had apologised it would be over.

“There would be no investigation, there’d be no further talks in the media about it. I know that from Ali that he would have certainly finished it right there.”

There is no clear time line for the dispute process, with FFA guidelines noting that it may include attempts at mediation or referral straight to a tribunal.

Farina praised the manner in which Abbas, who became an Australian citizen in 2012, handled himself when interviewed immediately after fulltime.

“He was very smart in the sense that he did not say after the game what was allegedly said, because I think if he wasn’t as smart and professional as he is this whole situation could have been very, very ugly,” Farina said.

The Sky Blues lifted themselves to fourth on the ladder with Saturday’s victory but face a tougher task when they host league leaders Brisbane on Friday.

Farina said the Abbas incident has not been a distraction for his side who are attempting to hang on to a top-six spot with only five games remaining before the finals.

He said Abbas harbours no anger over the matter and is solely focused on Friday’s match.

“He’s settled down, he’s a very calm person, so it must have been something pretty out of the ordinary or pretty bad for him to react in that way.

“But he’s certainly focused now on the game I only just had a talk with him this morning over a coffee and he’s ready to go.”


Source :The Sydney Morning Herald

Frank Farina: Sydney FC own worst enemy

Sunday, 2 March 2014 10:54 AM

A disappointed Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has lamented his side’s lack of discipline as they went down 2-1 to Central Coast Mariners on Saturday in Gosford in round 21 Hyundai A-League action.

A disappointed Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has lamented his side’s lack of discipline as they went down 2-1 to Central Coast Mariners on Saturday in Gosford in round 21 A-League action.

The Sky Blues responded with purpose after falling behind to a 26th minute free kick to Mariners South Korean recruit Kim Seung-Yong.

Sydney could have scored on multiple occasions before their 62 minute equaliser to Richard Garcia but lacked the discipline with the ball and finishing nous as the Mariners pinched back the lead in the 75th minute via strike to Mitchell Duke.

Sydney FC falls to fifth on the ladder after the loss and hosts second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers next Saturday night at Allianz Stadium.

The NSL-winning coach was blunt in his assessment.

‘That first half we were our own first enemies, we would win the ball but we would give it away too cheaply or too easily and that’s an area we are constantly saying we have got to improve and that’s coming down to either bad decision or bad passes and then we are on the back foot,’ Farina said.

‘In the first half we wanted to keep possession and run them around coming off the week they have had (playing in Korea in the AFC Champions League) but we didn’t do that well enough.

‘We were saying ‘keep the ball, keep moving it from side to side, make them run and they will tire in the second half.

‘But we turned over too much possession in that first half without any real pressure.’

Farina also noted the contribution of the Mariners defence particularly goal-keeper Liam Reddy (who was axed by Sydney in April of 2012) who pulled off a terrific save from a 55th minute free kick from wiley Italian Alessandro Del Piero.

‘I thought we come out in the second half and got ourselves back into the game,’ he said.

‘When Liam Reddy gets three points (man of the match on Fox Sports coverage) I suppose that says a bit.

‘I think in that final third we have got to improve in terms of most probably finishing and some decisions in there.’

The former Socceroos boss was pleased with his half-time tactical change of bringing on Richard Garcia for Corey Gameiro.

Gameiro, one of Sydney’s more industrious first half players, ‘wasn’t playing poorly,’ said Farina.

‘Richie is very experienced in that role, he is strong in the air as well.

‘Most probably he is still a little bit off (playing) 90 minutes.

‘As I said we weren’t holding enough possession we were losing it and he is someone who can hold it up and give us time to get the midfield forward and the defence forward as well.’

Farina praised Garcia’s classy angled goal ‘It was a very good finish, it was a great finish.’

‘We created enough chances there to warrant more than one goal.

‘But as happens when you are pushing you are going to get opened up at the back.

‘We went with three at the back when I bought young Alex (Urosevski) on as it was a game I wanted to get something out of.’


Source : Football Federation Australia

Clayton Zane v Frank Farina: Rookie v Master

Friday, 21 February 2014 9:08 AM

One is just starting out on his coaching career while the other has plenty of experience at both international and Hyundai A-League level.

Greenhorn Newcastle Jets coach Clayton Zane and Sydney FC boss Frank Farina will go head-to-head this weekend in a vital clash for both sides’ finals chances.

The two have history with Farina coaching Zane at Socceroos level, their most famous victory coming at the 2001 Confederations Cup where the latter’s goal handed Australia a memorable 1-0 win over then-world champions France.

We take a closer look at the two men trying to pilot their sides into the finals, their thoughts on one another and coaching in the A-League.

Clayton Zane

It’s been a bumpy start to Zane’s stint in charge of the Jets’ first team since taking over from the sacked Gary van Egmond last month.

A draw and two defeats from his first three games in charge ramped the pressure up immediately but things are looking up following last weekend’s 1-0 win over league-leaders Brisbane Roar.

The result came as a huge relief for the rookie coach, who concedes the move into the top job was a lot different to what he expected when first called into the role.

But Zane has played under some astute managers in his career, and rates this weekend’s adversary Farina right up there.

‘One of the real things I took out of playing under Frank was just his calm and relaxed demeanour,’ Zane said.

‘He might have been going 1000 miles an hour inside but he always came across as calm and in control to the players.

‘That gives you a lot of confidence. He had a lot of belief in the players and put trust in them, especially the senior guys and that’s something I took with me.’

Reflecting on his time under Farina with the national team, Zane said he owes a great debt of gratitude to the faith the now-Sky Blues boss showed in him.

‘I was very thankful he (Farina) gave me an opportunity. I remember I was with the Olympic team at the time, someone got injured so he called me up and all of a sudden I was playing in the Confederations Cup,’ Zane recalled.

‘It was a career highlight for me and to play and score against some of my idols is something I’ll never forget.  I thought Frank was a good coach, he was only young at the time but had good ideas and the team really gelled well together.

‘He had success as a player, was very determined and driven and he was similar as a coach. I knew he would have success.’

It’s Zane though who is craving success and he is relieved to have that first senior win under his belt.

The morale-boosting victory has moved the Jets back up to eighth spot on the ladder, just two points outside the top six heading into the final two months of the regular season.

‘Right from the start of the season, even when Gary was in charge we looked at the draw and really felt we had a favourable run home,’ Zane admitted.

‘We’ve got a lot of home games and play a lot of sides in the same boat as us and trying to get some consistency. The opportunity is there.

‘The good thing is we have a lot of players getting back to full fitness and coming back into the team. There’s still a lot of work to be done but the positives are there.’

Zane v Farina

Frank Farina

Farina has needed to draw on all the experience from his seven years at the helm of the Socceroos and his time in charge with Brisbane (Strikers and Roar) in the NSL and A-League respectively to manoeuvre through this campaign.

The 49-year-old has endured a roller-coaster time in his 15-month tenure at the Sky Blues so far, mixing some poor results with some sensational highs, including a club-record four-game winning streak earlier this season.

But 10 defeats – the most of any club – for the season has seen the pressure intensify from club supporters, with fan protests and banners calling for his sacking marring their last two home matches.

A tumultuous period ended with a much-needed 2-1 win over the Perth Glory last Saturday which saw Sydney jump back into the top six.

‘As I’ve always said things seem to calm down when you get three points,’ Farina said this week.

‘But that’s just the start. We’re in the (top) six and we’re two points off third so there’s still a lot to play for with eight games to go.

‘We’re just focused on what we want to do week by week. To get three points against Perth was hugely important after the week of turmoil we had. That will have calmed the storm a little bit probably but my belief is you just work harder.’

Farina has had enough to deal with in his own backyard to pay too much attention to how his former striker with the national team has been travelling.

But Zane will certainly come into Farina’s focus this week as he tries to formulate a plan to topple the Jets and keep the Sky Blues in the top six.

The Sydney boss was the one who gave Zane a chance at international level but says he never got the impression the beanpole striker would one day get into coaching.

‘I didn’t think he’d be crazy enough to be honest,’ Farina joked.

‘I got no real indication when he was playing that (coaching) would be the path he wanted to take.

‘Back then when I was involved with him as a player it was probably the last thing on his mind where he wanted to head and what he wanted to do. But I’m happy for him and hopefully he does well.’

Asked if he could pass on any words of wisdom to his former striker, Farina said: ‘I don’t like to give advice, particularly to other managers because everyone has their own style and own way of working.

‘You find your own way because you have your own issues and problems that others don’t have. You learn as you go along.’

Newcastle v Sydney FC – Key Stats:

*Sydney has won 14 of 26 previous clashes with Newcastle, losing just 5 times;

*The Jets have only 2 wins from 12 games against Sydney in the Hunter;

*Sydney has scored in just four of their last nine away fixtures;

*Newcastle has the worst home record of any A-League club this season;

*Alessandro Del Piero has scored three goals in just five games against Newcastle.

Match Details
Newcastle Jets v Sydney FC
Saturday, 22 February 2014
Hunter Stadium, Newcastle
Kick-off: 5:30pm local

Match day tickets can be purchased through or by calling 1300 12 10 12.


Source : Football Federation Australia

Frank Farina hails Sydney’s fighting spirit

Sunday, 16 February 2014 12:27 PM

Under-fire Sydney FC coach Frank Farina heaped praised on his players for earning a desperately needed 2-1 win over Perth Glory despite a week of ‘adversity’.

It wasn’t a pretty performance from the Sky Blues but after a run of just one win in nine outings, and a rough week – even by Sydney’s invariably dramatic standards – it was a victory that partly released the pressure valve on Farina and his side.

“There’s been a lot of adversity during the week,’ said Farina. ‘They were in the trenches and they fought hard the whole game.

“There’s never a day or a game that I’m not proud of them. I’m sometimes disappointed but tonight they showed that they want to play, they want to do well.

“Players don’t go out there to not perform or not try, but the attitude was very good and I’m pleased with the result.

“We had to win. It is a simple as that. It was a big pressure on players. They handled it extremely well.

“The pressure the team was under this week… it is a bit much to expect the team to play like world champions.”

Perth edged Sydney in the possession stakes but it was the home side who took their chances with the goals a result of the Sky Blues’ most creative outlets.

A typically classy pass from Alessandro Del Piero into the run of striker Ranko Despotovic set up the opener, while Terry Antonis scored a stunning strike midway through the second period for what proved to be the match-winner.

Farina reserved special praise for injury returnee Antonis, returning after an eight-month absence with a serious thigh injury, as well as club debutant Sasa Ognenovski.

The ongoing availability of the Young Socceroo captain, and the veteran national team defender will add much needed balance and depth to the Sky Blues’ line-up as they continue their finals push.

“For them to step into the pressure-cooker situation and help the others was very good,” said Farina.

“We have handled him (Antonis) with kid gloves. He had a career threatening injury. That (performance) is why he was the Young Socceroo captain and got offered a contract with Parma.

“If we tried to rush him back earlier, that boy might not have been playing football anymore. To see him come out of the dark tunnel and perform in his first game with the first team … I’m really happy for him. He’s a smashing young kid and he scored a great goal.”

Ognenovski’s powerful presence was another bonus for Farina, with the former Umm Salal central defender seeking to press his claims for Ange Postecoglou’s Brazil 2014 squad.

“He’s beast of a man. He’s a scary big fella,” said Farina. “He’s a good defender and he’s a real professional on and off the field.

“It’s his first game for a few months and it shows that he looks after himself. He’s got a goal – he wants to make the World Cup squad – and he’ll only get better.”


Source : Football Federation Australia