Culina joins Jets as Technical Director

The Newcastle Jets have appointed Branko Culina as the club’s new Technical Director.

The Newcastle Jets have appointed Branko Culina as the club-s new Technical Director.

Culina comes to Newcastle with a wealth of domestic football experience and knowledge having coached the likes of Melbourne Knights, Sydney United, Sydney Olympic, and finally Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 season.

The Croatian-born Culina also had a strong football career as a player with stints at Melbourne Knights, Sydney United, Blacktown City Demons, and St. Albans Saints.

Perhaps the most valuable asset that Culina brings to the club from the Hunter region is first-hand experience in Asia. Indeed, as Head Coach of Sydney FC, Culina was the first man to guide an Australian club to victory in the AFC Champions League when the Sky Blues defeated Shanghai Shenhua 2-1 on March 7, 2007. Culina-s side was edged out of top-spot in Group E of the competition by the narrowest of margins to eventual AFC Champions League 2007 winners, Urawa Red Diamonds.

With his familiarity in domestic and Asian football, Culina was therefore considered the perfect candidate for the Technical Director at the club.

“We see Branko as someone who can certainly add a high level of experience, professionalism, and expertise to our club,” Chief Executive Officer John Tsatsimas said today.

“Obviously we have ambitions not only to ensure that every possible measure is undertaken in this upcoming AFC Champions League campaign, but also looking to the future his experience in general is a very valuable asset.”

“After the recent departure of Ian Crook from our ranks it was important that we acted swiftly in getting the appropriate backroom support required to move into Asia in a positive manner. Certainly Branko-s experience in this field is invaluable for our club, and we look forward to working with him for this upcoming campaign,” he said.

Branko Culina Profile
Date of Birth: 1 October 1957
Place of Birth: Zadar, Croatia

Playing History
1974-1980 Melbourne Knights
1980 Sydney United
1981 Blacktown City Demons
1882-1988 St. Albans Saints

Coaching History
1989 St. Albans Saints
1990-1992 North Geelong Warriors
1992-1993 Melbourne Knights
1994 Fawkner Blues
1994 St. Albans Saints
1994-1997 Sydney United
1997-1998 Canberra Cosmos
1998-2001 Sydney Olympic
2001-2003 Sydney United
2007 Sydney FC

Major Honours
1996/97 – NSL Championship (Sydney United)
1996/97 – NSL Coach of the Year (Sydney United)