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Tony Popovic, a former Socceroo defender, has become the newest Australian coach axed by a European club.

After fewer than 9 league games at the helm, Greek second division team Xanthi sacked the former Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory coach.

After the 2020-21 A-League campaign, Popovic joined the club, owned by Greek-Australian businessman Bill Papas, after leading the Glory to the back-to-back finals series.

Currently, the explanation for his sacking is not clear.

Xanthi is still fifth in Super League 2, but Ergotelis is just four points behind and has a game in hand.

Xanthi owner Papas, said: “I want to thank Tony for the excellent work he has offered to the team since September 2020 when he took office.

“With great sadness and respect for Tony, we announce the end of our partnership.

“I wish Tony and his family all the best for the future.”

The sacking of Popovic comes after the club’s goalkeeper coach, former Socceroos goalkeeper Zeljko Kalac left Xanthi, and Belgian club Sint-Truiden axed another Australian coach, Kevin Muscat

Xanthi’s team, under the Australian coach’s watch, featured a small contingent of Down Under players.

These were Kristian and Gabriel, sons of Popovic, former Sydney FC and midfielder Josh Brillante of Melbourne City, former Adelaide United goalkeeper Paul Izzo, and former defender Matt Jurman of Western Sydney.

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