|By PADDY HIGGS
UPDATE:Sydney FC have turned to Frank Farina as their coach for the remainder of the season.
The former Brisbane Roar and Australia coach had firmed as favourite in the past few days after the Sky Blues were rebuffed in a bid to appoint Newcastle Jets boss Gary van Egmond.
Farina will be in charge of struggling Sydney FC as soon as Sunday's match with Melbourne Heart, with the 48-year-old en route to Australia from Papua New Guinea - where he had been working with the island's national team - in a bid to assume the helm as soon as possible.
"On behalf of the Sydney FC Board I would like to welcome Frank Farina to Sydney FC," Sky Blues chief executive officer Scott Barlow said via club statement.
"Frank has coached at the highest level and has dealt with the demands of coaching a high profile team. He also brings with him a wealth of A-League coaching experience that will serve him well as he joins us part way through our season.
"We believe Frank has the experience, leadership and coaching acumen to have a positive and immediate impact on Sydney FC."
Farina's appointment brings to an end just over two weeks of speculation over the Sky Blues job, which became vacant when Ian Crook quit the post just six matches into the new A-League season.
Citing stress, Crook's decision has not improved the fortunes of Sydney FC despite the presence of marquee man Alessandro Del Piero.
The Sky Blues are anchored to the bottom of the table, having claimed just six points from eight matches.
It is a challenge of which Farina is all-too aware: "This is a fantastic opportunity," Farina said. "There is a lot of attention on Sydney FC and I’m looking forward to getting to Sydney and working with the players and staff to create an environment where we can be successful on the pitch.
"There are some very good players at the club, some of which I've worked with previously, and I've got no doubt that with hard work we can turn things around and get Sydney FC heading in the right direction."
Others that had been linked to the role included Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold, two-time A-League winning boss Ernie Merrick and former Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham manager Avram Grant.