Jets appoint Culina as Head Coach

The Newcastle Jets have this afternoon appointed Branko Culina as the club’s new Head Coach for a period of 2 years.

The Newcastle Jets have this afternoon appointed Branko Culina as the club-s new Head Coach for a period of 2 years.

Club chief executive John Tsatsimas announced the appointment at a media conference earlier today.

“The Newcastle Jets would like to announce Branko Culina as the Head Coach for the 2009/2010 season, and 2010/2011 season. Obviously it is a two year deal and we-re happy to have Branko aboard.”

“He is a man of great experience in terms of the old NSL (National Soccer League), and has experiences in Asia and with Sydney FC as recently as a couple of seasons ago,” Mr. Tsatsimas said.

“He is a very well credentialed person and we are fortunate to have him in our club for the forthcoming seasons.”

Culina has expressed his desire to achieve at the highest level with the Jets and will return to the coaching fold in the Hyundai A-League after departing from Sydney FC in 2007.

“Obviously a coach of his calibre and nature, I think coaching is inbred in him. He lives and breathes football, so I think the itch was always there,” said Mr. Tsatsimas of Culina-s passion for the game.

Culina steps into the role as Head Coach after previously being the Jets- Technical Director throughout the recent AFC Champions League 2009 campaign, where the club became only the second Australian side to advance beyond the group stage of Asia-s elite club competition.

“I think that Branko is the best man for the job. He has been here since February and he has seen the club, he knows the players first-hand, he is an experienced coach, he is a very technical coach as is (Assistant Coach) Mark Jones and we believe that they will work well together. We also believe that it will provide the foundation for rectifying us results-wise and it will lead us into the Finals.”

Culina was selected ahead of a raft of candidates that had expressed their interest in the role since the departure of Gary van Egmond on Sunday. Mr. Tsatsimas offered his appreciation to all applicants, but in the end Culina was seen as the ideal man to lead Newcastle into the future.

“We were quite surprised by the number of people that actually came out and put their hand up for the job over the last 48 hours, so it was very encouraging to see that people wanted to come and coach here in Newcastle in the A-League,” 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
1982-1988 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)