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By ESPN Staff

Sydney FC confirm Lavicka appointment

Sydney FC have confirmed the A-League's worst-kept secret by officially appointing Czech Vitezslav Lavicka as their new coach.

The former Sparta Prague coach takes the reins from John Kosmina, who was sacked by the club on Saturday after Sydney's worst-ever season in which they failed to make the finals for the first time.

The 45-year-old Lavicka, a two-time Czech coach of the year, will arrive in Australia in March with his role officially beginning in April.

However, he is likely to meet Sydney's players and staff before that when he travels to China for the club's upcoming friendly against Shanghai Shenhua on February 28.

Lavicka was picked by new Sydney owner and Russian businessman David Traktovenko, who officially takes control of the club in March.

Sydney FC director Scott Barlow, Traktovenko's son-in-law, said in a statement on Wednesday: "Lavicka has a strong coaching pedigree and holds a UEFA Pro coaching licence, the highest possible coaching credential in world football.

"We are confident Lavicka will provide the professionalism and technical knowledge required to get the best out of our players and take Sydney FC forward."

Lavicka will be joined at Sydney by fellow Czech Michal Zach who has been appointed co-assistant coach alongside current Sydney FC assistant and former captain Tony Popovic.

Lavicka and Zach spent five days in Sydney last month, running their eyes over the club's training facilities and the Sydney Football Stadium, where they watched Sydney defeat Newcastle 4-0 in the final game of the season.

Lavicka was named Czech coach of the year after winning the Czech league in 2005/06 and earning a place in the qualifying stages of the UEFA Champions League with FC Slovan Liberec.

In 2008, he helped Czech giants Sparta Prague qualify for the UEFA Cup, and in the 2007/08 season he also coached the Czech under-21 side.

Lavicka will become the fifth coach of Sydney in as many seasons following Pierre Littbarski, Terry Butcher, Branko Culina and Kosmina.

Kosmina was sacked despite having another year left on his contract and the club reportedly paid him out $225,000.

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